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Using an Impella device to reverse refractory cardiac arrest and enable efficient coronary revascularisation


We report the case of a 54-year-old man who suffered from refractory cardiac arrest secondary to acute myocardial infarction. As veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation was unavailable, mechanical chest compression was performed and an Impella device was used that immediately delivered at 3.2 l/min flow to reach the optimal mean arterial pressure. Within 1 min, return of spontaneous circulation was achieved and a 40% left ventricular ejection fraction was measured on echography. Then, the right coronary artery could be revascularised. Despite 62 min low flow, the patient was discharged home on day 19 without neurological sequelae. During refractory cardiac arrest, the European Resuscitation Guidelines indicate that veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation should be considered as rescue therapy. Other mechanical circulatory supports such as an Impella device (left ventricular assist device propelling blood in the ascending aorta) can be a promising treatment in select patients; however, insufficient data in humans are available.

  • interventional cardiology
  • resuscitation
  • adult intensive care
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