VV extracorporeal life support for the Third Millennium: will we need anticoagulation?
Since the late 1600’s medicine and science have entertained the idea of extracorporeal circulation. With this technology to allow for cardiac and pulmonary support came the development of anticoagulation. Although this advanced the technology and capabilities of extracorporeal life support, it was not without complications and risks. The most common complications in extracorporeal life support (ECLS) present day are related to hemorrhage and thrombus due to the need for systemic anticoagulation and the challenges associated with it. This review focuses on present day techniques for anticoagulation for ECLS and what future surface modifications may do to obviate the use of systemic anticoagulation entirely.