Background/purpose: Coagulation complications are frequent, unwanted occurrences in extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) treatment, possibly influenced by the pump in the ECMO-circuit. We hypothesized that fewer complications would occur with a smaller, heparin-coated ECMO system with a centrifugal pump (CP) than with one with a roller pump (RP) and that after conversion, complication rates would decrease over time. Methods: This single-center, retrospective chart study included all first neonatal and pediatric ECMO runs between 2009 and 2015. Differences between groups were assessed with Mann–Whitney U tests and Kruskal–Wallis tests. Determinants of complication rates were evaluated through Poisson regression models. The CP group was divided into three consecutive groups to assess whether complication rates decreased over time. Results: The RP group comprised 90 ECMO runs and the CP group 82. Hemorrhagic complication rates were significantly higher with the CP than with the RP, without serious therapeutic consequences, while thrombotic complications rates were unaffected. Intracranial hemorrhage rates and coagulation-related mortality rates were similar. Gained experience with the CP did not improve complication rates or survival over time. Conclusions: Although the CP seems safe, it does not seem beneficial over the RP. Further research is warranted on how pump type affects coagulation, taking into account the severity and implications of coagulation complications. Level of Evidence: Level III.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Not applicable. This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.