The changing population of the United States and use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.

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DOI: 10.1016/j.jss.2013.04.027


Background: Neonatal extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) has been widely used for the last 25 y. The impact of ethno-demographic changes on ECMO outcomes has not been fully examined. We evaluated the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization registry over a 21-y period to understand these trends.

Methods: A retrospective review of all neonates undergoing noncardiac ECMO in the United States between the years 1990 and 2010 was conducted based on the years of available live birth census data. Demographic, clinical, and outcome data were collated. Patient specifics, ECMO type, ECMO length, arterial blood gases, and mortality were analyzed. Univariate, bivariate, and multivariate analyses were then performed. Changes in ethnic composition of neonates on ECMO were compared with similar ethnic trend in available U.S. live birth data.

Results: Data were available for 18,130 neonates. Comparing ethnicity by year, the proportion of Caucasian neonates requiring ECMO dropped from 64.3% in 1990 to 49.5% in 2010, while African-American and Hispanic neonates on ECMO increased from 21.1% and 11.1% to 26.1% and 17.4%, respectively (P < 0.001). By diagnosis, congenital diaphragmatic hernia surpassed meconium aspiration syndrome as the leading indication for ECMO compared with 1990 (congenital diaphragmatic hernia, 21.5%-28.4%; meconium aspiration syndrome, 47.0%-15.7%; P < 0.05). ECMO mortality nearly doubled, from 18.5% to 34.0% over the study period. On adjusted analysis, African-Americans were 17% less likely to die on ECMO compared with Caucasian neonates.

Conclusions: Neonates of ethnic minorities continue to disproportionally require ECMO support in comparison to their birth rates. Although ethnicity alone does not impact the outcome of these newborns, the increased requirement of ECMO may highlight the need for targeted education, improved prenatal care, and decision making in these groups.

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The Journal of surgical research





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MeSH Keywords

African Americans; Asian Americans; Ethnic Groups; European Continental Ancestry Group; Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation; Hernia; Diaphragmatic; Hernias; Diaphragmatic; Congenital; Hispanic Americans; Humans; Infant; Newborn; Meconium Aspiration Syndrome; Multivariate Analysis; Registries; Respiratory Insufficiency; Retrospective Studies; Treatment Outcome; United States


Ethnicity; Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation; ECMO Mortality; Population changes; Demographics

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