Critically ill patients who require ECMO are the sickest in the hospital with only 42% hospital survival. In five years the use of ECMO has doubled both in Australia and globally. ECMO is used at an increasing number of centres, without key information about best practice, severe complications, costs or patient outcomes. ECMO patients are one of the most expensive diagnosis-related groups, costing on average AU$283,543 per complex admission, and consuming close to US$3 billion per year. More patients are surviving but survivors may have ongoing disability for months or years. I will review the aftermath of surviving ECMO from the perspective of patients and their families.
Carol is Deputy Director of the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Research Centre in the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine at Monash University. She leads international trials in mechanical ventilation (PHARLAP) and early mobilisation (TEAM) in ICU. She specialises in long term functional outcomes following ICU and organ support, including ECMO. She is a senior physiotherapist in ICU at the Alfred Hospital and is passionate about multidisciplinary research to improve patient recovery.