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Case Reports in Critical Care
Volume 2013, Article ID 136542, 4 pages
Case Report

Extracorporeal Life Support in a Severe Blunt Chest Trauma with Cardiac Rupture

1Anesthesiology, Critical Care and Emergencies, Rennes University Hospital, 35000 Rennes, France
2Anesthesiology, Critical Care, Emergencies, and SAMU (Service d’Aide Médicale Urgente), Rennes 1 University, Inserm U991, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire (CHU) Pontchaillou, 35000 Rennes, France
3Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, Rennes University Hospital, 35000 Rennes, France

Received 27 June 2013; Accepted 24 July 2013

Academic Editors: K. Chergui, Y. Durandy, and Z. Molnar

Copyright © 2013 Launey Yoann et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This report presents a case of severe blunt chest trauma secondary to a horse riding accident with resultant free-wall rupture of the left ventricle in association with severe lung contusion. We describe the initial surgical and medical management of the cardiac rupture which was associated with a massive haemoptysis due to severe lung trauma. Extra corporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) support was initiated and allowed both the acute heart and lung failure to recover. We discuss the successful use and pitfalls of ECMO techniques which are sparsely described in such severe combined cardiac and thoracic trauma.