Provision of ECPR during COVID-19: evidence, equity, and ethical dilemmas

Worku, Elliott; Gill, Denzil; Brodie, Daniel; Lorusso, Roberto; Combes, Alain; Shekar, Kiran

The use of extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation (ECPR) to restore circulation during cardiac arrest is a time-critical, resource-intensive intervention of unproven efficacy. The current COVID-19 pandemic has brought additional complexity and significant barriers to the ongoing provision and implementation of ECPR services. The logistics of patient selection, expedient cannulation, healthcare worker safety, and post-resuscitation care must be weighed against the ethical considerations of providing an intervention of contentious benefit at a time when critical care resources are being overwhelmed by pandemic demand.


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December 20, 2022