A combined management with vv-ECMO and independent lung ventilation for asymmetric chest trauma.
Association of independent lung ventilation (ILV) and veno-venous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (vv-ECMO) may be life-saving therapy in cases of refractory hypoxemia. We report the case of a trauma patient affected by asymmetric hypoxemic lung contusions and massive air leak managed by association of ILV and vv-ECMO. This combined strategy allowed us first to restore physiologic conditions and later to achieve safe thoracic surgery with reduced resection of pulmonary parenchyma. This case highlights the success of a new damage control strategy in extreme cases of persistent air leak with refractory hypoxemia allowing initial vital rescue and a more conservative treatment.