Coagulation abnormalities in patients with COVID‐19 on venovenous ECLS increased risk for technical complications and support times but had no impact on survival
Patients with severe coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19)-associated acute respiratory distress on venovenous extracorporeal lung support (V-V ECLS) showed a high incidence of vascular as well as ECLS-related thrombotic complications. The latter may influence the outcome of the patients. Methods This is a retrospective monocentric study on prospectively collected data of technical complications including 69 adult COVID-19 patients on V-V ECLS (ECLS Registry, March 2020 until April 2021) without
... with system exchanges. Alterations in ECLS-specific data, hemolysis, coagulation, and hemostasis parameters were analyzed. Results Every second COVID-19 patient on V-V ECLS developed technical complications. Optimized ECLS management at our ECLS center reduced cases of acute clot formation (pump head thrombosis, acute oxygenator thrombosis) (17%), and allowed early identification of progressive clotting processes (worsened gas transfer, coagulation disorder) (14%, 54%) with a significant overhang of hyperfibrinolysis (37%). Although COVID-19 disease and technical complications caused the prolonged length of stay at the intensive care unit and ECLS support times, the proportion of successful weaning and survival rates were comparable with patients without system exchange. Conclusion The survival of ECLS patients with COVID-19 was independent of the requirement for system exchange due to technical-induced coagulation disorders. Close monitoring for circuit clotting is mandatory in COVID-19 patients and is one prerequisite for successful organ support in these difficult patients.