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05.02.2018 | Case Report | Ausgabe 3/2018 Open Access

Journal of Artificial Organs 3/2018

Prolonged extracorporeal membrane oxygenation for pediatric necrotizing pneumonia due to Streptococcus pneumonia and influenza H1N1 co-infection: how long should we wait for native lung recovery?

Journal of Artificial Organs > Ausgabe 3/2018
Gerard Cortina, Christian Niederwanger, Uwe Klingkowski, Corinna Velik-Salchner, Nikolaus Neu


Most children with severe respiratory failure require extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) for 7–10 days. However, some may need prolonged duration ECMO (> 14 days). To date, no consensus exists on how long to wait for native lung recovery. Here we report the case of a 3-year-old boy who developed severe necrotizing pneumonia requiring venovenous (VV) ECMO after 19 days of mechanical ventilation. In the first 4 weeks of his ECMO run, he showed no lung aeration, requiring total extracorporeal support. However, after we started strategies for promoting lung recovery such as daily prone positioning and regular use of toilet bronchoscopy and inhalative DNAse to clear secretions, by week five his tidal volumes gradually increased and he was successfully decannulated after 43 days. Moreover, we decided not to proceed to a surgical removal of the necrotic lung area. At present, he is 1-year post discharge and has fully recovered. This report shows that unexpected native lung recovery is possible even after prolonged loss of lung function and that a previous healthy lung can recover from apparent irreversible lung injury.

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