Objective: To report the successful use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) as rescue therapy for severe necrotizing pneumonia secondary to infection by the Staphylococcus aureus species.
Design: Case series.
Setting: Pediatric intensive care unit at a freestanding tertiary care children's hospital.
Patients: Two pediatric patients with severe S. aureus-induced necrotizing pneumonia requiring rescue with ECMO. Both patients survived with good neurologic outcomes. One patient required the use of activated factor VII for severe bleeding while on ECMO, with no thrombotic effect on the ECMO circuit.
Conclusion: ECMO as rescue support should be considered in a timely fashion for refractory hypoxemic respiratory failure resulting from S. aureus pneumonia, including patients with necrotizing pneumonia. Use of ECMO support in such cases, coupled with aggressive measures aimed at minimizing bleeding, such as the use of activated factor VII, may result in excellent short- and long-term outcomes for such patients.