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bacteria-binding mesh, extracorporeal membrane oxygen, lymphorrhea, negative-pressure wound therapy, skin necrosis, wound complications, wound healing, vessel exposure



  1. Eom, Yeseul MD
  2. Woo, Kyong-Je MD, PhD


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effectiveness of negative-pressure wound therapy (NPWT) for management of wound complications at extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) removal sites.


METHODS: The authors retrospectively reviewed patients who underwent NPWT at ECMO removal sites followed by the development of wound complications including skin necrosis, lymphorrhea, and femoral vessel exposure. A nonadhesive bacteria-binding mesh was used as a wound contact layer of NPWT application. Patient characteristics and clinical outcomes were evaluated.


RESULTS: Nine patients underwent NPWT for complicated wounds at ECMO sites. The mean age of patients was 49.2 years (range, 14-64 years). All patients exhibited wound complications with lymphorrhea and skin necrosis. Seven of nine patients had wound cultures that were positive for microorganisms, but culture conversion to negative was achieved after NPWT application for a mean period of 21.2 days (range, 12-30 days). Lymphorrhea was successfully managed, and formation of fresh granulation tissue was observed in all patients. Wound healing either by primary closure, skin graft, or secondary healing was achieved without recurrence of wound complications. There were no cases of femoral vessel injury or aneurysm during NPWT application.


CONCLUSIONS: Negative-pressure wound therapy appears to be a safe and effective treatment option in the management of complicated wounds at ECMO sites.