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Extracorporeal Membranous Oxygenation for Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome in Adults

Author(s): Kelly E. Williams, MSN, ACNP-BC, ACNS-BC, CCRN

Contact Hours 1.00

CERP A 1.00

Expires Apr 01, 2017

Topics: Pulmonary

Population: Adult

Role: Staff

Member: Free
NonMember: $10.00

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Activity Summary

Despite advances in treatment, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) remains a common cause of respiratory failure requiring ventilatory support and is associated with significantly high rates of morbidity and mortality. To date, the only treatment shown to increase survival rate in patients with ARDS is the use of supportive mechanical ventilation using low tidal volumes. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is a therapy that has been used in severe cases of ARDS when patients fail to improve with traditional management. Recent literature shows varying mortality rates for the use of ECMO for ARDS; however, the literature suggests that transfer of patients to an ECMO center for treatment using specific criteria and indications may improve outcomes. Further research is needed regarding the timing of the initiation of ECMO, standardization of therapy, and which type of ECMO reduces morbidity and mortality rates in patients with ARDS.


  • Discuss indications for extracorporeal membranous oxygenation therapy (ECMO) therapy.
  • Describe the causes and presentation of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).
  • Explain how ECMO supports lung function and oxygenation.

Continuing Education Disclosure Statement

Successful Completion

Learners must attend/view/read the entire activity and complete the associated evaluation to be awarded the contact hours or CERP. No partial credit will be awarded.


This activity has been reviewed by the Nurse Planner. It has been determined that the material presented here shows no bias. Approval of a continuing education activity does not imply endorsement by AACN or ANCC of any commercial products displayed or discussed in conjunction with the activity.


The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is accredited with distinction as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC's) Commission on Accreditation, ANCC Provider Number 0012 (60 min contact hour). AACN has been approved as a provider of continuing education in nursing by the California State Board of Nursing, California Provider number CEP01036 contact hours (50 min contact hour).

AACN programming meets the standards for most states that require mandatory continuing education contact hours for license and/or certification renewal. AACN recommends consulting with your state board of nursing or credentialing organization before submitting CE to fulfill continuing education requirements.