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On September 15 and 16, CARL Academy welcomed over 100 European ECPR and CARL experts to the first edition of the CARL Summit in Freiburg, Germany. In many inspiring presentations and discussions, the leading key opinion leaders in the field shared their expertise, recent experiences and tips and tricks for the successful realization of ECPR programs. An important step to shape the future of ECPR.

Looking back to the two-day scientific program, the following five take-home-messages are most important:

  1. Latest results from experimental research clearly show, that the viability of cells suffering from circulatory arrest is longer than commonly expected. Transferred to ECPR, this may indicate significantly improved survival rates in the far future. 
  2. ECPR has already become a standard as 2nd-line therapy for selected patients after refractory cardiac arrest, when conventional CPR is failing. It is indisputable that important factors for a favorable outcome are, among others, high quality CPR and short no- and low-flow-times. An optimized chain of survival and – in selected set-ups – pre-hospital ECPR implementation may help to improve the currently unsatisfactory survival rates.
  3. Targeted and patient-individual reperfusion concepts aimed at a reduction of reperfusion injuries are becoming increasingly important. Different ingredients for the priming of extracorporeal systems and the targeted adjustment of various blood gas parameters are the most important measures that can be taken.
  4. Existing literature, which proves that the use of hypothermia in conventional CPR is of no additional benefit in the treatment of cardiac arrest, should not be considered in ECPR. Cooling induced with extracorporeal circuits is much faster and more efficient than currently available cooling methods during conventional CPR. Current evidence from clinical and preclinical trials clearly supports cooling as quickly and as early as possible.
  5. The technical vision for extracorporeal technology is the realization of platform devices that enable the usage for all kinds of indications of different organs, requiring mechanical circulatory support, enhanced by a mobility concept that makes them usable anywhere. Their clinical application is most promising in specialized centers within multi-professional teams. Training and simulation are important key factors for successful implementation and effective operation of any clinical program. Dedicated products like the next generation ALS, cannulation and ECPR trainer CARL.SAM (available soon) can facilitate this process.

We thank all speakers, chairs and attendees for a successful first edition of the CARL. Summit!

All presentations well be available soon on our learning platform CARL Academy.