Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation
The Cardon Children’s Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) program provides respiratory and/or cardiac support for patients ranging in age from newborn to 18 years.
ECMO is used when a child’s heart or lungs are so sick that conventional therapies can no longer provide adequate support. Similar to the heartlung bypass machine used in cardiac surgery, the ECMO machine gives oxygen to the child’s blood while removing carbon dioxide. Surgery is performed in the pediatric or neonatal intensive care unit to insert tubes into the child’s veins and/or arteries that are then attached to the ECMO machine.
The infant or child will remain in PICU or NICU until ECMO support is discontinued. Because ECMO is not a cure for any disease, it is used only for patients with treatable diseases. Common diseases supported with ECMO are meconium aspiration syndrome, congenital diaphragmatic hernia, severe asthma, pneumonia and congenital heart defects. The amount of time a child remains on ECMO varies greatly, with an average therapy time of 10 days.
Our ECMO program is an excellent adjunct to services provided in the PICU and NICU at Cardon Children’s Medical Center.
For more information, please call (480) 412-7675.