ECMO in the Burn Patient: the Time Has Come

  • April A. GrantEmail author
  • Ali Ghodsizad
  • Walter Ingram
Burns (N Namias, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Burns



The use of extracorporeal life support in the intensive care unit has exponentially increased in the last decade. Initially, its use in the burn population lagged behind the dramatic growth in other patient populations; however, in the last 2–3 years, there has been an increase in the number of publications related to its use in this population. In this article, we review the use of contemporary ECMO in the burn patient population and discuss future trends.

Recent Findings

Level 1 evidence for the use of ECMO in any patient population is scarce, and there is no level 1 evidence for the use of ECMO in burn patients. Recently, there has been an increase in case series and case reports describing the use of contemporary ECMO in burn patients. In addition, there are two large retrospective reviews of large registries utilizing ECMO in burn patients.


The results from these studies all indicate that outcomes using ECMO in this critically ill patient population has survival rates at least comparable to the survival found in other patient populations. There are still many unanswered questions, and future focus needs to address patient selection, timing of initiation, management, and the duration of ECMO therapy.


Burn Extracorporeal life support ECMO ARDS Respiratory failure EMPROVE protocol 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Dr. Grant has nothing to disclose. Dr. Ghodsizad has nothing to disclose. Dr. Ingram has nothing to disclose.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • April A. Grant
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ali Ghodsizad
    • 2
    • 3
  • Walter Ingram
    • 4
  1. 1.Department Trauma Surgery and Surgical Critical CareEmory University School of Medicine and Grady Hospital SystemAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Dewitt Daughtry Family Department of Surgery, Division of Thoracic Transplantation and Mechanical Circulatory SupportUniversity of Miami, Leonard M. Miller School of MedicineMiamiUSA
  3. 3.Division of Thoracic Transplantation and Mechanical Circulatory SupportMiami Transplant InstituteMiamiUSA
  4. 4.Department Burn SurgeryEmory University School of Medicine and Grady HospitalAtlantaUSA

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