Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation for Pregnant and Postpartum Patients

Michael J. Wong, MD; Shobana Bharadwaj, MBBS; Jessica L. Galey, MD; Allison S. Lankford, MD; Samuel Galvagno, DO, PhD; Bhavani Shankar Kodali, MD


Anesth Analg. 2022;135(2):277-289. 

In This Article


ECMO is an effective rescue therapy for pregnant and postpartum patients with severe cardiopulmonary dysfunction, and it has been increasingly utilized over the past 2 decades. Maternal and fetal outcomes after ECMO support have steadily improved during this time, and ongoing experience with this form of life support will continue to inform practice. Survival can be bolstered by early recognition of maternal critical illness and referral to a specialized center with expertise in ECMO and high-risk obstetrics. Multidisciplinary collaboration is essential given the complex interplay of maternal and ECMO physiology.