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Case Reports in Pediatrics
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 268074, 3 pages
Case Report

Respiratory Failure Secondary to Human Metapneumovirus Requiring Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation in a 32-Month-Old Child

1Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA
2Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA
3McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Broadway Research Building, 733 Nth Broadway, Room 529, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA

Received 30 January 2012; Accepted 28 February 2012

Academic Editors: D. Fischer and A. E. Scaramuzza

Copyright © 2012 Abha Gupta 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.


Human metapneumovirus (HMPV) is a common virus that can cause respiratory problems ranging from mild upper respiratory tract disease to respiratory failure requiring mechanical support. Here, we report a case of a 32-month-old male with a previous history of asthma, who developed respiratory failure two weeks after onset of cough and rhinorrhea and required extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) for 9 days after failing high-frequency oscillatory ventilation (HFOV). To our knowledge, this is the oldest reported pediatric patient with respiratory failure secondary to human metapneumovirus that did not respond to mechanical ventilation. This case highlights three critical points: the potentially fatal causative role of HMPV in respiratory failure in an older pediatric age group of immunocompetent hosts, the importance of early recognition of impending respiratory failure, and the timely utilization of ECMO.