Multidisciplinary approach to extracorporeal respiratory assist for acute pulmonary failure

M. Solca, A. Pesenti, G. Iapichino, L. Uziel, U. Fox, A. M. Giovannetti, G. Roviaro, P. Zannini, G. Pezzuoli, L. Gattinoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A case of acute post-traumatic pulmonary failure was treated by extracorporeal respiratory assist, after conventional therapy had failed. Veno-venous bypass was established, with low extracorporeal blood flow (1.6-2 l min-1), and high exchange surface area membrane lungs (7 m2), according to the technique of low-frequency positive-pressure ventilation with extracorporeal carbon-dioxide removal. After a first disconnection, the evolution of the lung disease necessitated a second surgical procedure, during which a chest tube perforated the patient's right lower, pulmonary lobe. A two-stage right thoracotomy was performed, with the patient connected to the extracorporeal system, and receiving full heparinization. Massive bleeding and severe hypoxia were encountered, but successfully overcome. The patient is now a long-term survivor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-11
Number of pages3
JournalInternational Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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