DOI: 10.1177/02676591231199718 ISSN:

Circuit change in neonatal and pediatric extracorporeal membrane oxygenation is associated with adverse outcomes

Niloufar Hafezi, Troy A Markel, Natalie M Mark, Cameron L Colgate, Supriya Shah, Nehal Ninad, Sarina Masso Maldonado, Brian W Gray
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Safety Research
  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • General Medicine


Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) circuits may be changed during the run for multiple reasons; however, these circuit changes may be associated with adverse events. Predictors for undergoing a circuit change (CC) and their outcomes remain unclear. We hypothesized that neonatal and pediatric CC correlates with increased morbidity and mortality.


Pediatric and neonatal patients who underwent one ECMO run lasting <30 days at a tertiary children’s hospital from 2011 through 2017 were retrospectively reviewed. Bivariate regression analysis evaluated factors associated with ECMO mortality and morbidity. LASSO logistic regression models identified independent risk factors for undergoing a CC. p < .05 was significant.


One hundred 85 patients were included; 137 (74%) underwent no CC, while 48 (26%) underwent one or more. Undergoing a CC was associated with longer ECMO duration ( p < .001), higher blood transfusion volumes ( p < .001), increased hemorrhagic complications ( p < .001) and increased mortality ( p = .002). Increased platelet ( p = .001) and FFP ( p = .016) transfusion volumes at any time while on ECMO were independent factors associated with undergoing a CC.


Changing the circuit during the ECMO run occurs frequently and may be associated with poorer outcomes. Understanding the outcomes and predictors for CC may guide management protocols for more efficient circuit changes given its important association with overall outcomes.

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