Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO) Guidelines for Follow-up After Neonatal and Pediatric Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation

ASAIO J. 2021 Sep 1;67(9):955-963

Neonates and children who have survived critical illness severe enough to require extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) are at risk for neurologic insults, neurodevelopmental delays, worsening of underlying medical conditions, and development of new medical comorbidities. Structured neurodevelopmental follow-up is recommended for early identification and prompt interventions of any neurodevelopmental delays. Even children who initially survive this critical illness without new medical or neurologic deficits remain at risk of developing new morbidities/delays at least through adolescence, highlighting the importance of structured follow-up by personnel knowledgeable in the sequelae of critical illness and ECMO. Structured follow-up should be multifaceted, beginning predischarge and continuing as a coordinated effort after discharge through adolescence. Predischarge efforts should consist of medical and neurologic evaluations, family education, and co-ordination of long-term ECMO care. After discharge, programs should recommend a compilation of pediatric care, disease-specific care for underlying or acquired conditions, structured ECMO/neurodevelopmental care including school performance, parental education, and support. Institutionally, regionally, and internationally available resources will impact the design of individual center’s follow-up program. Additionally, neurodevelopmental testing will need to be culturally and lingually appropriate for centers’ populations. Thus, ECMO centers should adapt follow-up program to their specific populations and resources with the predischarge and postdischarge components described here.