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Successful Use of Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation for Status Asthmaticus in a Woman With a Periviable Pregnancy

Clifford, Caitlin, MD; Mhatre, Mohak, MD; Craigo, Sabrina, MD

doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000002799
Contents: Medical Disorders of Pregnancy: Case Report

BACKGROUND: Status asthmaticus is a severe asthma exacerbation with persistent airway obstruction despite standard therapy. Use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) as rescue therapy in pregnancy is exceedingly rare. We describe a case of ECMO for treatment of status asthmaticus in woman with a periviable pregnancy culminating in a term delivery.

CASE: The patient was a 33-year-old woman, gravida 3 para 1, admitted at 23 2/7 weeks of gestation with respiratory failure secondary to status asthmaticus. Venovenous ECMO was initiated and continued for 6 days. After hospital discharge, she had no further respiratory issues. She ultimately developed fetal growth restriction and gestational hypertension and underwent a repeat cesarean delivery at 38 weeks of gestation.

CONCLUSION: Venovenous ECMO can be used successfully for status asthmaticus during a periviable pregnancy and enable delivery at term.

Venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation can successfully treat status asthmaticus in the periviable period.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts.

Corresponding author: Sabrina Craigo, MD, 800 Washington Street, Box 360, Boston, MA 02111; email:

Financial Disclosure The authors did not report any potential conflicts of interest.

Each author has indicated that she has met the journal's requirements for authorship.

Received April 23, 2018

Received in revised form June 05, 2018

Accepted June 14, 2018

© 2018 by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.