ECMO Troubleshooting

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In this second installment of the ECMO OnePager series, we review basic common troubleshooting for VV ECMO. Issues range from expected complications requiring monitoring (e.g. rising transmembrane pressure) to immediately life threatening emergencies that require urgent action (air embolism, oxygenator failure, etc). Understanding what can go wrong, and how emergent any of these issues are, is critical in managing people on ECMO.



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Last reviewed: 12 May 2021

Author(s): Nick Mark, MD

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Attribution:   Title: “ECMO Troubleshooting”   Creator: “Nick Mark MD“  Source:OnePager ICU“   License: “CC BY-SA 3.0

Citation Example:   OnePagers: Mark NM, “ECMO Troubleshooting” Published 2021-03-14, OnePagerICU, URL: (accessed Date)