Extracorporeal partial bypass with the use of fluorocarbon liquid-membrane oxygenator

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There are many effective methods of respiratory support for the various types of lung disorders. However, there are a number of acute lung diseases with severe hypoxemia that are refractory to the conventional modes of therapy, such as intermittent positive pressure ventilation, positive end-expiratory pressure, and continuous positive airway pressure. Clinicopathologic conditions in which a stable arterial hypoxemia is the main cause of death are severe pneumonia, shock-lung syndrome, respiratory distress syndrome, fat, thrombus, or amniotic fluid embolism, noxious gas inhalation and others.

Clinical experience has shown extracorporeal membrane oxygenation to be the most effective method in the management of acute respiratory insufficiency in these cases, since a membrane oxygenator permits prolonged respiratory support to several weeks in patients with minimal lung function.1–4 However, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation is not widely used yet because of the short term of “membrane lung” life, as the gas permeability through a stable membrane decreases during prolonged bypass, the persistent hazard of systemic microembolization with blood cell aggregates, the design complexity of the membrane lung, and the high cost of commercially available membrane oxygenators.

A new approach in the development of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation is the design of a liquid-membrane oxygenator5–11 where blood and gas are separated by a thin liquid film. Different fluorocarbons are used to generate liquid membranes in this type of “artificial lung.”

This report deals with the development and experimental study of the fluorocarbon liquid-membrane oxygenator.

Methods and materials

Fifty experiments were undertaken on mongrel dogs, each weighing 22 . . .



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