PURPOSE: The extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) cannula has the potential for obstructing flow to the lower limb, thus causing severe ischemia and possible limb loss. We evaluated the safety and clinical efficacy of percutaneous distal perfusion catheterization in preventing limb ischemia. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Between March 2013 and February 2015, 28 patients with distal perfusion catheterization after ECMO were included in this retrospective study. The technical success was evaluated by Doppler ultrasound at the popliteal level after saline injection via distal perfusion catheter. Clinical success was assessed when at least one of the following conditions was met: restoration of continuous peripheral limb oximetry value or presence of distal arterial pulse on Doppler ultrasound evaluation or resolution of early ischemic sign after connecting the catheter with ECMO. RESULTS: Twenty-six patients with early ischemia were successfully cannulated with a distal perfusion catheter (92.8%). Clinical success was achieved in 12/28 (42.8%) patients; 8/10 (80.0%) patients with survival duration exceeding 7 days and 4/18 (22.2%) patients with survival duration less than 7 days, respectively. CONCLUSION: A percutaneous distal perfusion catheter placement was a feasible tool with safety and efficacy in preventing lower limb ischemia for patients with prolonged common femoral arterial cannulation for ECMO.