Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) is a condition that develops when the lungs fill with fluid, also known as pulmonary edema, causes severe hypoxemia. ARDS can be caused by many conditions, including pneumonia or other infections, trauma, or blood transfusions. Select patients with ARDS may be treated with ECMO when other therapies fail.
ECMO may be used to “bridge” patients to lung transplantation when their respiratory function deteriorates while awaiting transplant. ECMO can be used to support patients with severe cystic fibrosis, pulmonary fibrosis, interstitial lung disease, COPD, and pulmonary hypertension for several weeks or more when their lungs are unable to do so. Using ECMO as a bridge to transplant can allow patients with end-stage lung disease to maintain nutrition, participate in physical therapy, and optimize strength pre-transplant.
Pulmonary embolectomy is an emergent surgical procedure to remove an acute, life-threatening pulmonary embolus from one of the large pulmonary arteries.
An acute pulmonary embolism (PE) is a sudden blockage in an artery of the lung that begins as a clot in a vein elsewhere in the body and travels to the lung. ECMO may be used to support heart and lung function in patients with a life-threatening pulmonary embolism while awating further medical or surgical treatment.
Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is elevated blood pressures within the pulmonary arteries that may cause hypoxemia, heart failure, and require medical or surigical treatment or lung transplantation.
Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) is pulmonary hypertension that develops from the accumulation of small, chronic clots in the pulmonary arteries. Select patients with CTEPH may be treated with pulmonary thromboendarterectomy (PTE).
Pulmonary thromboendarterectomy (PTE) is a complex surgical procedure to remove life-threatening chronic clots from a patient’s distal pulmonary arteries. PTE can restore blood flow through the lungs and reduce pulmonary hypertension.
Dr. Matthew Bacchetta, MD, MBA, MA, Director of the Adult ECMO Program and Director of the PTE Program, has extensive experience performing PTE.
Status asthmaticus is a medical emergency that occurs when an asthma attack is unresponsive to steroids and bronchodilators. ECMO may be used to control the life-threatening carbon dioxide levels that can result from status asthmaticus.