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Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation use has increased by 433% in adults in the United States from 2006 to 2011
The authors describe a "huge" increase in ECMO usage for pulmonay failure with a trend, though not statistically significant, towards improved outcomes. Interestingly, there was not any appreciable increase in hospital costs associated with this significant increase in ECMO utilization. The improved survival was most evident in centers categorized as "medium" size centers doing at least 6 ECMO procedures per year. However, the authors point out that patients transferred to a larger center on ECMO were considered survivors but the outcome of the transferred patients was not available. The authors also contemplate that the improved survival trend is related to improved technology and protocols and that this technological improvement will result in an even greater increase in ECMO usage in the future.