Daily nursing care on patients undergoing venous-venous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation: a challenging procedure!

S. Redaelli, A. Zanella, Manuela Milan, S. Isgro, A. Lucchini, A. Pesenti, Nicolò Patroniti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Daily nursing in critical care patients may alter vital parameters, especially in the most critically ill patients. The aim of our study was to evaluate feasibility and safety of daily nursing on patients undergoing venous-venous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (vv-ECMO) for severe respiratory failure. Daily nursing was performed following defined phases (sponge bath, elevation with scooping stretcher, change position of endotracheal tube, dressing replacement). We recorded physiological and ECMO parameters before and during daily nursing in 5 patients for several days (total: 25 daily nursing) and adverse events: desaturation, hypertension, reduction of mixed venous oxygen saturation, arterial oxygen saturation or ECMO blood flow and elevation in minute ventilation. Sedative drug dosage and additional bolus were recorded. Daily nursing was performed in 92 % of cases (23/25), with a minimum of two adverse events per daily nursing. Hypertension and tachycardia were mostly recorded at the beginning, while desaturation, reduction in mixed venous oxygen saturation and blood flow were recorded during elevation with scooping stretcher. Increase in minute ventilation was frequent in spontaneous breathing patients. Additional bolus of sedation was required before and/or during nursing. Daily nursing significantly alters physiologic parameters; thus, it should be performed only when physicians are readily available to treat adverse events.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-349
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Artificial Organs
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2016


  • Adult
  • Conscious Sedation
  • Critical Care
  • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation/nursing
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pulmonary Gas Exchange
  • Respiratory Insufficiency/therapy
  • ARDS
  • Daily nursing care
  • ECMO


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