What is ECMO?
Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, or ECMO, is a therapy that adds oxygen to patient’s blood and pumps it through their body like the heart. The process takes place outside the body. ECMO is like a heart-lung machine used in heart surgery and can be used for longer periods of time.
ECMO temporarily takes over the work of the heart and lungs so they can rest and heal.
When is ECMO used:
- Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) secondary to pneumonia, aspiration, severe air leak
- Refractory Septic / Cardiogenic Shock
- Myocarditis – viral, scorpion sting
- Post Arrest shock
- Before or after cardiac surgery
- Meconium Aspiration
- Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia
- Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension
When should ECMO be considered?
ECMO is used when usual treatments are not working. ECMO does not cure heart or lung disease, it only provides time for the patient’s heart or lungs to heal.