CO2 Gradient & Weaning: Survivor
The venoarterial CO2 gradient is the most reliable indicator of a patient’s ability to wean from extracorporeal support (IABP, VAD, CPB or ECMO). As an example, a patient was placed on ECMO after failing to wean from CPB. After allowing the heart to recover on ECMO for several days, the ECMO blood flow is weaned over 30 hours as illustrated in the case above. During that time, the venoarterial CO2 remained below 10 mmHg. As the ECMO flow was slowed, the patient’s own cardiac output increased, preventing the CO2 gradient from increasing. This indicates survivability off mechanical support.
Perfusion Theory is an educational platform for the Oxygen Pressure Field Theory (OPFT). August Krogh’s theoretical concept of the oxygen pressure field is explained and then applied to clinical applications in perfusion practice.