Background: There are limited data on complications in acute myocardial infarction (AMI) admissions receiving extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). Methods: Adult (>18 years) admissions with AMI receiving ECMO support were identified from the National Inpatient Sample database between 2000 and 2016. Complications were classified as vascular, lower limb amputation, hematologic, and neurologic. Outcomes of interest included temporal trends, in-hospital mortality, hospitalization costs, and length of stay. Results: In this 17-year period, in ~10 million AMI admissions, ECMO support was used in 4608 admissions (<0.01%)—mean age 59.5 ± 11.0 years, 75.7% men, 58.9% white race. Median time to ECMO placement was 1 (interquartile range [IQR] 0–3) day. Complications were noted in 2571 (55.8%) admissions—vascular 6.1%, lower limb amputations 1.1%, hematologic 49.3%, and neurologic 9.9%. There was a steady increase in overall complications during the study period (21.1% in 2000 vs. 70.5% in 2016). The cohort with complications, compared to those without complications, had comparable adjusted in-hospital mortality (60.7% vs. 54.0%; adjusted odds ratio 0.89 [95% confidence interval 0.77–1.02]; p =
0.10) but longer median hospital stay (12 [IQR 5–24] vs. 7 [IQR 3–21] days), higher median hospitalization costs ($458,954 [IQR 260,522–737,871] vs. 302,255 [IQR 173,033–623,660]), fewer discharges to home (14.7% vs. 17.9%), and higher discharges to skilled nursing facilities (44.1% vs. 33.9%) (all p
< 0.001). Conclusions: Over half of all AMI admissions receiving ECMO support develop one or more severe complications. Complications were associated with higher resource utilization during and after the index hospitalization.
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