J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol.  2018 Dec;16(2):86-92. 10.22537/jksct.16.2.86.

Extracorporeal Life Support in Acute Poisoning

  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, College of Medicine, Korea University, Seoul, Republic of Korea. kuedlee@korea.ac.kr


Cardiovascular or respiratory complications of acute intoxication are the most common causes of mortality. Advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) or specific antidotes help manage these cardiac or respiratory complications in acute intoxication. On the other hand, some cases do not respond to ACLS or antidotes and they require some special treatment, such as extracorporeal life support (ECLS). ECLS will provide the chance of recovery from acute intoxication. This study examined the optimal timing of ECLS in acute intoxication cases.
This paper is a brief report of a case series about ECLS in acute poisoning. The cases of ECLS were reviewed and the effects of ECLS on the blood pressure and serum lactate level of the patients were analyzed.
A total of four cases were reviewed; three of them were antihypertensive agent-induced shock, and one was respiratory failure after the inhalation of acid. The time range of ECLS application was 4.8-23.5 hours after toxic exposure. The causes of ECLS implementation were one for recurrent cardiac arrest, two for shock that did not respond to ACLS, and one for respiratory failure that did not respond to mechanical ventilator support. Three patients showed an improvement in blood pressure and serum lactate level and were discharged alive. In case 1, ECLS was stared at 23.5 hours post toxic exposure; the patient died due to refractory shock and multiple organ failure.
The specific management of ECLS should be considered when a patient with acute intoxication does not recovery from shock or respiratory failure despite ACLS, antidote therapies, or mechanical ventilator support. ECLS improved the hemodynamic and ventilator condition in complicated poisoned patients. The early application of ECLS may improve the tissue perfusion state and outcomes of these patients before the toxic damage becomes irreversible.


Extracorporeal life support; Poison; Shock; Respiratory failure
Full Text Links
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
Copyright © 2020 by Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors. All rights reserved.     E-mail: koreamed@kamje.or.kr