New research reveals that an easy, non-invasive way of predicting the risk of stroke or hemorrhage among children who are receiving cardiac or respiratory support via ECMO is by measuring blood flow to the brain. The finding was published in the journal Pediatric Critical Care Medicine.
Stroke is the leading cause of death among young cardiac patients receiving support through extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).
When a patient can’t sustain sufficient oxygen levels in their blood, because of conditions such as heart failure, ECMO is sometimes required. It is only used when traditional therapies fail to work.
ECMO works by carrying blood from the patient through the machine where it directly oxygenates and removes carbon dioxide from the blood – it is conventionally used for both respiratory and cardiac failure.
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