Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation with subclavian artery cannulation in awake patients with pulmonary hypertension.
Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a challenging disease process to manage. Respiratory and hemodynamic changes that accompany general anesthesia lead to a significant risk of cardiovascular collapse. Certain cases of decompensated PH require extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) support as either a bridge to lung transplantation or bridge to recovery. Performing ECMO cannulation without intubation or general anesthesia in these patients may be safer given the severity of their underlying disease process. We present three cases of upper body ECMO cannulation performed on patients with pulmonary hypertension while awake and without mechanical ventilation.