Scientific article

Mobile cardio-respiratory support in prehospital emergency medicine

Published inEuropean Journal of Emergency Medicine, vol. 18, no. 2, p. 99-101
Publication date2011

Introduction Serious pulmonary and cardiac failure may be treated with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) when the conventional treatment fails. Improvements in extracorporeal circulation devices have allowed us to set up two specialized mobile units: a mobile cardiac assistance unit (MCAU) and a mobile respiratory assistance unit (MRAU). Their role is to provide ECMO at patient's bedside, and then to ensure inter-hospital transport (IHT). The aim of this study was to evaluate our experiences with the transportation of patients on ECMO. Methods We performed two prospective observational studies, the first on IHT requiring MCAU during 3 years and the second on IHT requiring MRAU during 6 months. Results Thirty-two patients needed MCAU. The median age is 40 years. The median distance travelled is 45 km. The median time of arrival at patient bedside is 49 min. Causes of cardiac shock were: myocarditis (28.1%), acute heart failure of unknown aetiology (21.9%), drug-induced cardiovascular failure (18.8%), post-infarction cardiac failure (12.5%), post-cardiac surgery (12.5%) and refractory cardiac arrest (6.2%). Thirty days mortality was 40%. Eleven patients needed MRAU. The median age was 33 years. The median distance travelled is 40 km; the median time of arrival at patient bedside is 47 min. All patients had severe acute respiratory distress syndrome complicating severe H1N1 virus infection. Thirty days mortality was 65%. In both the cases, all transportations were uneventful. Conclusion This study shows that mobile ECMO system can be successfully and quickly established at patient's bedside, and that transportation of patients on ECMO can be performed safely and without technical difficulties. European Journal of Emergency Medicine 18:99-101 (C) 2011 Wolters Kluwer Health vertical bar Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome
  • Cardiac failure
  • Emergency medicine service
  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation
  • Inter-hospital transport
  • Mobile cardiac assistance unit
  • Mobile respiratory assistance unit
Citation (ISO format)
CHENAITIA, Hichem et al. Mobile cardio-respiratory support in prehospital emergency medicine. In: European Journal of Emergency Medicine, 2011, vol. 18, n° 2, p. 99–101. doi: 10.1097/MEJ.0b013e3283402249
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0969-9546

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