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Extracorporeal support 

Extracorporeal support
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date: 27 November 2020

Extra corporeal life support (ECLS) is an essential tool for the modern intensivist and surgeon. The addition of extracorporeal therapy should be considered in all cases when pathology is potentially reversible and conventional therapy is clearly failing. ECLS is a general term to describe prolonged, but temporary support of heart and lung function using mechanical devices, which has developed as an extension of cardiopulmonary bypass techniques used in the operating theatre. Use in adult severe respiratory and cardiac failure is increasing following significant advances in ECLS techniques learnt from paediatric and neonatal experiences, and successful use of extra corporeal membrane oxygenation in the 2009 and 2001 H1N1 (swine flu) outbreaks. This chapter describes the techniques required for providing successful ECLS in adult respiratory and cardiac failure.

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