News Release

Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation vs conventional rewarming for severe hypothermia in an urban emergency department

New AEM study provides evidence that could save lives each winter

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Society for Academic Emergency Medicine

Des Plaines, IL — Among emergency department patients with severe hypothermia and cardiac arrest, survival was significantly higher with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) versus conventional rewarming. Further, among all hypothermic patients, ECMO use was associated with faster rewarming than conventional methods. That is the conclusion of a study entitled Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation versus conventional rewarming for severe hypothermia in an urban emergency department, published in the January 2023 issue of Academic Emergency Medicine (AEM), the peer-reviewed journal of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine. 

The lead author of the study is Matthew E. Prekker, MD, MPH, medical director of the ECMO Program at Hennepin County Medical Center, Department of Emergency Medicine. In the study, Prekker, et. al., present the outcomes of 25 patients with severe hypothermia, treated with ECMO, and compare them with a contemporaneous group of 19 patients treated with usual active rewarming methods. The study outcomes suggest an enormous effect size (71% versus 29%, absolute difference 42%, 95% CI 4%–82%) of ECMO for survival among hypothermic patients with pulselessness. 



Academic Emergency Medicine, the monthly journal of Society for Academic Emergency Medicine, features the best in peer-reviewed, cutting-edge original research relevant to the practice and investigation of emergency care. The above study is published open access and can be downloaded by following the Journalists wishing to interview the authors may contact Laura Giblin at


SAEM is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to the improvement of care of the acutely ill and injured patient by leading the advancement of academic emergency medicine through education and research, advocacy, and professional development. To learn more, visit 

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