Double lumen cannula for VV ECMO

Case contributed by Dr Justyna Swol


Sudden desaturation due to severe lung failure

Patient Data

Age: 30 years
Gender: Female

The patient is cannulated with fluoroscopic guidance with a double lumen cannula for VV ECMO support due to severe lung failure. The cannula consists of 2 lumens. One lumen allows the deoxygenated blood to drain from the distal and proximal ports from the inferior and superior vena cava, while the other lumen allows the oxygenated blood to return from the external oxygenator to the right atrium.

Fluoroscopic view: the opening of the return lumen is projected exactly to the right atrium.


Chest x-rays with and without ET tube, with double lumen VV ECMO cannula from the right jugular vein. 

Case Discussion

The cannulation has been performed via the right jugular vein. This position allowed the intensivist to reduce sedation and wake the patient after extubation, during the VV ECMO support.

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