This is the registry of all ECMO done Internationally in 2017, by centres which are considered experienced. If you look at the table
Survival of ECLS is 66% (extracorperal life support or ECMO) So more then 50%
AND there's a lot of cases, where people shouldn't be out on ECMO, but are, and that brings the survival down statistic down. For example, last week we put 2 patients on VV ECMO. For both those patients, I discussed with the ICU staff in depth. And it went something like this:
Me "the patient has a terminal condition. He/she will die. We shouldn't put them on ECMO. These are irreversible conditions"
Staff "I know they are going to die. But they are young and we have nothing else to offer"
And then we agree to do ECMO, because it's hard to let young people die. And they die a few days later as we all knew they would. These people have chronic pulmonary conditions for years, and years, that are at the terminal, and right at the end so we do ECMO. There's a lot of these cases. And they bring that statistic down. I believe that VV ECMO which is placed in PROPERLY selected patients, with reversible conditions (and ARDS is one of them) survival is probably closer to 75%. If it's for pneumonia, that statistic is lower because patients pass away from the infection.
Please stay positive, and hopeful.