Carelli M, Seco M, Forrest P, Wilson MK, Vallely MP, Ramponi F
Perfusion 2019 11;34(8):717-720
In recent years, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation has become increasingly common in the treatment of in-hospital cardiac arrest in non-cardiac surgery patients. This includes cardiac arrest secondary to perioperative anaphylactic shock refractory to standard advanced life support protocols, which is a rare but catastrophic event associated with significant mortality. Neuromuscular blocking drugs are most commonly implicated in perioperative anaphylaxis, with rocuronium playing a major role. In this article, we report two cases of young and otherwise fit and well patients who experienced a perioperative arrest secondary to rocuronium anaphylaxis before elective surgery; both patients did not respond to conventional advanced life support, but survived neurologically intact after institution of urgent veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.