This study states that The number of patients using critical care is increasing as our populations live longer thanks to advances in medical therapies. This is reflected by an increase in both usage and number of critical care beds as compared with total hospital beds across the United States. As this aging population suffers more and more from multiorgan dysfunction, including but not limited to respiratory failure, cardiac failure, and acute kidney injury, technologies are used to facilitate recovery in those that would have assuredly passed away years ago. Some of these advancements include extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and continuous kidney replacement therapy. In this article, we review the literature regarding the history, technology, indications, and outcomes of synchronous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and kidney replacement therapy.

The evolution of ECMO as technology was eloquently laid out by Makdisi and Wang6 in a recent review. Dating back to 1944, Kolff and colleagues7 first noted blood became oxygenated as it passed through cellophane chambers in their artificial kidney. This concept was later applied by Gibbon8 in 1953 who performed the first successful open-heart surgery. Gibbon employed the use of artificial oxygenation and perfusion support during the case.

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