Recent findings: First, there are no new prospective studies comparing ECMO and other therapy in adults with ARDS. Second, the number of review articles and case descriptions published in the last 2 years suggests increased interest in ECMO. Third, recently published retrospective cohort studies analyzing patients from the H1N1 epidemic report conflicting conclusions.

Summary: Intensivists may have increased their utilization of ECMO. Credible evidence for mortality benefit of ECMO is lacking. A prospective randomized controlled trial designed to evaluate the efficacy of ECMO for ARDS is overdue.

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