Successful treatment of severe carbon monoxide poisoning and refractory shock using extracorporeal membrane oxygenation

Academic Article


  • Carbon monoxide (CO) is the most common cause of poisoning and poisoning-related death in the United States. It is a tasteless and odorless poisonous gas produced from incomplete combustion of hydrocarbons, such as those produced by cars and heating systems. CO rapidly binds to hemoglobin to form carboxyhemoglobin, leading to tissue hypoxia, multiple-organ failure, and cardiovascular collapse. CO also binds to myocardial myoglobin, preventing oxidative phosphorylation in cardiac mitochondria and resulting in cardiac ischemia or stunning and cardiogenic pulmonary edema. Treatment of CO poisoning is mainly supportive, and supplemental oxygen remains the cornerstone of therapy, whereas hyperbaric oxygen therapy is considered for patients with evidence of neurological and myocardial injury. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) has been utilized effectively in patients with respiratory failure and hemodynamic instability, but its use has rarely been reported in patients with CO poisoning. We report the successful use of venoarterial ECMO in a patient with severe CO poisoning and multiple-organ failure.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Teerapuncharoen K; Sharma NS; Barker AB; Wille KM; Diaz-Guzman E
  • Start Page

  • ee155
  • End Page

  • ee160
  • Volume

  • 60
  • Issue

  • 9