Pediatric burn patients with respiratory failure: Predictors of outcome with the use of extracorporeal life support

Timothy D. Kane, David G Greenhalgh, Glenn D. Warden, Michael J. Goretsky, Frederick C. Ryckman, Brad W. Warner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Extracorporeal life support (ECLS) for pediatric burn patients is a viable option for respiratory failure that is unresponsive to maximal conventional therapy. No criteria have been identified that are predictive of the success of the use of ECLS for these patients. This article presents a retrospective review of the pediatric burn patients placed on ECLS at a single pediatric medical center. It was found that 12 patients (mean age, 30.3 months; range 6 to 69 months) were placed on ECLS because of profound pulmonary failure that was unresponsive to aggressive ventilatory support. The mean size of the burns of these patients was 50.2% of the total body surface area (average size of full-thickness burns, 41.8% total body surface area), with 6 patients having scald burns and 6 having flame burns. The overall survival was 67% (8 of 12). Nonsurvivors had greater positive end- expiratory pressure, mean airway pressure, peak inspiratory pressure, and oxygenation index before ECLS. It is felt that ECLS is a life-saying therapy for pediatric patients with thermal injury. Greater ventilator requirements before ECLS are associated with nonsurvival. Early institution of ECLS in pediatric burn patients with Severe respiratory failure may prevent excessive barotrauma and thus discourage the onset of irreversible lung injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-150
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Burn Care and Rehabilitation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Surgery
  • Nursing(all)
  • Health Professions(all)
  • Emergency Medicine


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