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Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation: an unusual cause of acute limb compartment syndrome

Intensive Care Unit, St Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Summary

Acute limb compartment syndrome is a surgical emergency associated with significant morbidity if not diagnosed promptly and treated effectively. We describe a case of severe and eventually lethal acute limb compartment syndrome, which complicated veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in a previously well young woman who had suffered an unexplained cardiac arrest. We recommend that intensive care units develop clinical practice guidelines for the use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation therapy in order to minimize the risk of similar adverse events in the future.

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