To investigate the ICU survival of venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) patients suffering from COVID-19-related acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) versus ECMO patients without COVID-19 (non-COVID-19)-related ARDS.
Design: Preliminary analysis of data from two prospective ECMO trials and retrospective analysis of a cohort of ARDS ECMO patients.
Setting: Single-center ICU.
Patients: Adult ARDS ECMO patients, 16 COVID-19 versus 23 non-COVID-19 patients. Analysis of retrospective data from 346 adult ARDS ECMO patients.
Measurements and main results: COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 ARDS patients did not differ with respect to preexisting disease or body mass index. ICU survival rate was 62% for COVID-19 ECMO patients and 70% for non-COVID-19 ECMO patients. COVID-19 ECMO survivors were supported with ECMO for a median of 43 days (interquartile range [IQR], 18-58 d) versus 16 days (IQR, 19-39 d; p = 0.03) for non-COVID-19 patients. The median duration of ECMO therapy for all ARDS patients between 2007 and 2018 was 15 days (IQR, 6-28 d). The subgroup of patients suffering from any viral pneumonia received ECMO support for a median of 16 days (IQR, 9-27 d), survivors of influenza pneumonia received ECMO support for 13 days (IQR, 7-25 d).
Conclusions: COVID-19 patients required significant longer ECMO support compared with patients without COVID-19 to achieve successful ECMO weaning and ICU survival.