Anesthesiol Clin. 2019 Dec;37(4):661-673. doi: 10.1016/j.anclin.2019.08.001. Epub 2019 Oct 11.
Extracorporeal life support can support patients with severe forms of cardiac and respiratory failure. Uncertainty remains about its optimal use owing in large part to its resource-intensive nature and the high acuity illness in supported patients. Specific issues include the identification of patients most likely to benefit, the appropriate duration of support when prognosis is uncertain, and what to do when patients become dependent on extracorporeal life support but no longer have hope for recovery or transplantation. Careful deliberation of ethical principles and potential dilemmas should be made when considering the use of extracorporeal life support in advanced cardiopulmonary failure.