Adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) secondary to H1N1 viral infection has been a worldwide medical and organizational challenge. We report our experience with extracorporeal membrane oxygenator (ECMO) rescue and transportation of patients with H1N1 ARDS within an insular and rural Mediterranean area of seven million inhabitants. A 24y7 on-call ECMO team was organized including one anesthesiologist, one cardiac surgeon, and one perfusionist. To limit missions' time to and from peripheral hospitals, airborne transportation with helicopter was the first choice. From November 2009 to January 2010, we performed 10 missions. Eight patients (80%) were placed on ECMO and transferred either on helicopter (70%) or with standard ambulance (10%). Average mission duration was nine hours (6-16 h). No complications secondary to the transportation means or to the ECMO were reported. Delivery of advanced medical technology can be achieved even in remote and underserved areas presenting geographical barriers. A multidisciplinary mobile ECMO team coordinated with adequate means of transportation could be routinely employed to rescue patients affected with other forms of severe acute hemodynamic andyor respiratory impairment. & copy; 2011 Published by European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery.
- Extracorporeal membrane oxygenator
- Mobile team
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine