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Persistent pulmonary hypertension in a newborn infant treated with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation

Hansen, T.W.; Sponheim, S.; Pedersen, T.; Svennevig, J.

Tidsskrift for den Norske Laegeforening: Tidsskrift for Praktisk Medicin Ny Raekke 115(5): 591-594

1995


ISSN/ISBN: 0029-2001
PMID: 7900111
Accession: 046958344

Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation is a recent addition to our therapeutic arsenal in infants with life-threatening respiratory failure. We have treated a neonate with persistent pulmonary hypertension secondary to meconium aspiration with veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Both conventional, pressure-controlled ventilation and high-frequency jet ventilation having failed, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation was life-saving for this infant. A clotting episode in the extracorporeal membrane oxygenation circuit resulted in focal as well as global ischemic changes in the brain. In spite of this complication the child was found to be normal upon neurodevelopmental evaluation at one year of age. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation is a high-technology therapy which should probably be centralized to only one to two units in Norway. It may be life-saving for selected patients who do not respond to other forms of therapy, but the risk of sequelae is not insignificant.

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