Health Sciences Building, 155 College Street, Room 574
  • September 18, 2019 from 4:10pm to 5:30pm

University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics Seminar Series 2019-20

Roxanne Kirsch, MD, MBE, FRCPC, FAAP, Critical Care Bioethics Associate, Pediatric Cardiac Intensivist, Assistant Professor Pediatrics, The Hospital for Sick Children

Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is a mechanical support therapy that has saved many lives. It was developed first in the neonatal and then pediatric setting, but has gained increasingly widespread adoption across neonatal, pediatric, and adult critical care settings. With increasing use, and ever-expanding indications, the unique bedside challenges become more prominent to health care providers. While the discussion is presented largely from a pediatric lens, it is translatable to the adult setting. The session will briefly review underlying ethical permissibility regarding withdrawal of life-sustaining therapies in the setting of mechanical circulatory support, briefly review the development and use of mechanical circulatory support in the current era, and then focus a discussion on the challenges faced by the care provider team and the surrogate decision makers in identifying when ECMO is unsuccessful and in moving to discontinuation of ECMO support. A review of the current state of ECMO support capabilities, expanding use, and select case vignettes will help to frame the discussion of challenges present and future as this technologic support gains widespread, less specialized use.

These seminars are free and open to the public. No registration is required. Everyone is welcome either in person or via webcast.