Pediatric Intensive Care Preparedness and ECMO Availability in Children With COVID-19: An International Survey

Perfusion. 2020 Dec 19. Online Ahead Of Print

Since the beginning of the pandemic Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), calls were made for informed allocation of costly, limited health care resources such as extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). At the time of writing, the number of children infected by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was relatively small, and the clinical manifestations of COVID19 were milder than adults. However, children also required intensive care unit (ICU) admission and ECMO support to manage respiratory failure and/or cardiac failure related to COVID-19. To share international experiences and physicians’ perspectives on COVID-19, we developed and spread a brief, pragmatic survey.

In conclusion, both the experience in managing patients and the availability of neonatal/pediatric ECMO in the centers the responders are working seemed to increase physicians’ preparedness. Centers caring for a low number of patients and without ECMO facilities might need more educational programs or a stable referral system to improve physicians’ preparedness for anticipating future surges or pandemics.