Background. Acute respiratory failure is a prevalent condition in childhood with a high rate of mortality. Invasive mechanical ventilation support may be required for the management of these patients. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is a method used when ventilation support is insufficient. However, the less invasive extracorporeal carbon dioxide removal method can be used as an alternative in cases of hypercapnic respiratory failure.

Case. A 9-year-old patient with cystic fibrosis presented to the hospital with acute respiratory failure due to pneumonia. Bilateral patchy areas of consolidation were evident in the chest x-ray. Invasive mechanical ventilation support was consequently provided to treat severe hypercapnia. Although peak and plateau pressure levels exceeded 32 cmH₂O (49 cmH₂O) and 28 cmH₂O (35 cmH₂O), respectively, the patient continued to have severe respiratory acidosis. Therefore extracorporeal carbon dioxide removal support was initiated to provide lung-protective ventilation. By Day 10, venovenous ECMO support was initiated due to deteriorating oxygenation.

Conclusion. In cases where conventional invasive mechanical ventilation support is insufficient due to acute hypercapnic respiratory failure, extracorporeal carbon dioxide removal support, which is less invasive compared to ECMO, should be considered as an effective and reliable alternative method. However, it should be noted that extracorporeal carbon dioxide removal support does not affect oxygenation; it functions solely as a carbon dioxide removal system.

Keywords: extracorporeal carbon dioxide removal, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), hypercapnic respiratory failure, pediatric intensive care unit

How to cite

Özçifçi G, Koç G, Eyduran E, Durak F, Anıl AB. Extracorporeal carbon dioxide removal for acute hypercapnic respiratory failure in a child with cystic fibrosis. Turk J Pediatr 2024; 66: 257-264. https://doi.org/10.24953/turkjpediatr.2024.4588


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