Virtual Conference

Pilje Kang

Asan Medical Center, Republic of Korea

Title: Venous-arterial Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation therapy in elderly patients


Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), is a life-saving therapy that can provide respiratory and/or circulatory support to patients with severe cardiopulmonary failure. The application of ECMO treatment to elderly patients has become a topic of debate in the ICU setting due to the increasing age demographic of ICU patients. This study aims to investigate the weaning rate, survival discharge, and complications in elderly patients undergoing VA ECMO treatment. This study included patients aged 70 years or older who received VA ECMO treatment at a tertiary hospital from January 2018 to December 2022. Patients were divided into two groups: those aged 70 to 79 years (70s group) and those aged 80 years or older (80s group). Weaning rate, survival discharge, and complications were compared between the two groups. A total of 267 patients were included in the study. There was no statistically significant difference in weaning success rates or survival to discharge rate. No significant differences were observed in weaning success rate (48.7% vs. 34.8%) or survival to discharge rate (37.8% vs. 30%) between 70s group and 80s group. However, the incidence of complications tended to increase in the group over 80 years of age. V-A ECMO is a valuable therapy for critically ill elderly patients. However, elderly patients remain at higher risk for complications from VA-ECMO compared to younger patients. Careful consideration should be given to the risks and benefits of VA-ECMO before initiating therapy in elderly patients.


Pilje Kang graduated from Dong-A University Medical School and completed the Department of Thoracic and cardiovascular resident at Asan medical center. He has been a cardiovascular surgery fellow and is now a cardiovascular ICU and ECMO team director at Asan medical center.