Primary Article

Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation as Treatment of Severe Meconium Aspiration Syndrome

Authors: ERNEST D. GRAVES III MD, WILLIANI A. LOL MD, CLYDE R. REDMOND MD, KENNETH W. FAI TERMAN MD, ROBERT M. ARENSMAN MD

Abstract

ABSTRACT:Meconium aspiration syndrome (MAS) is a common cause of morbidity and mortality in neonates. Chemical pneumonitis can lead to persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) with irreversible hypoxia and death. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) for the treatment of severe PPHN became available at the Ochsner Foundation Hospital in September 1983. We reviewed the first 28 cases in which ECMO was used for the treatment of PPHN due to severe MAS; 26 of the 28 infants survived. During the three years preceding our development of ECMO capability, ten neonates had PPHN due to severe MAS and met the criteria for ECMO; only three survived. The difference in survival demonstrates the efficacy of ECMO for the treatment of severe MAS. We believe that when established criteria are met, ECMO should be instituted without delay.

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References