A systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted to assess the level of evidence for the use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) in hypoxemic respiratory failure resulting from burn and smoke inhalation injury. We searched any article published before March 01, 2012. Available studies published in any language were included. Five authors rated each article and assessed the methodological quality of studies using the recommendation of the Oxford Centre for Evidence Based Medicine (OCEBM). Our search yielded 66 total citations but only 29 met the inclusion criteria of burn and/or smoke inhalation injury. There are no available systematic reviews/meta-analyses published that met our inclusion criteria. Only a small number of clinical trials, all with a limited number of patients, were available. The overall data suggests that there is no improvement in survival for burn patients suffering acute hypoxemic respiratory failure, with the use of ECMO. ECMO run times of less than 200 h correlate with higher survival compared to 200 h or more. Scald burns show a tendency of higher survival than flame burns. In conclusion, the presently available literature is based on insufficient patient numbers; the data obtained and level of evidence generated are limited. The role of ECMO in burn and smoke inhalation injury is therefore unclear. However, ECMO technology and expertise have improved over the last decades. Further research on ECMO in burn and smoke inhalation injury is warranted.
- Respiratory failure
- Systematic review
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine