Trends From 2002 to 2017
Extracorporeal life support (ECLS) has grown in its application since its first clinical description in the 1970s. The technology has been used to support a wide variety of mechanical support modalities and diseases, including respiratory failure, cardiorespiratory failure, and cardiac failure. Over many decades and safety and efficacy studies, followed by randomized clinical trials and thousands of clinical uses, ECLS is considered as an accepted treatment option for severe pulmonary and selected cardiovascular failure. Extracorporeal life support involves the use of support artificial organs, including a membrane lung and blood pump. Over time, changes in the technology and the management of ECLS support devices have evolved. This manuscript describes the use of membrane lungs and blood pumps used during ECLS support from 2002 to 2017 in over 65,000 patients reported to the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization Registry. Device longevity and complications associated with membrane lungs and blood pump are described and stratified by age group: neonates, pediatrics, and adults.