ECMO Therapy

Onsite ECMO physician 317-338-1455

Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) Therapy

Onsite ECMO physician 317-338-1455
ECMO Program Supervisor 317-338-1230.

ECMO therapy is advanced critical care medicine technology that may be use for patients with severe lung and/or heart conditions. If the child is not responding to initial therapies (ventilator support, oxygen and medications) ECMO therapy takes on the workload of the lungs by providing oxygen and removing carbon dioxide, and the pump relieves the workload on the heart (if it is affected). ECMO can be used for days, even weeks, giving the young patient’s own lungs, heart and body systems time to rest and recover.

At the Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, ECMO therapy goes directly to the child’s bedside. Every child has 24/7 continuous pediatric intensive care nurses and an ECMO specialist as directed by the attending Pediatric ICU physician.

At the Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, ECMO therapy goes directly to the child’s bedside. Every child has 24/7 continuous pediatric intensive care nurses and an ECMO specialist as directed by the attending Pediatric ICU physician.  

Reminders to visitors seeing a patient receiving ECMO therapy

When the lights in the room are dim we ask that visitors have minimal patient contact and observe “quite time.”

Anyone approaching the child on ECMO needs to be very careful of nudging the cannulas. It doesn’t take much force to dislodge them. The attending ECMO specialist will be very protective. It is his or her job to ensure the safety of the patient and the cannulas apparatus. These patients will be continuously medicated for pain and sedated, so please limit the noise. We do encourage the family to talk and touch the patient if they can tolerate it.

Every family will receive an ECMO packet of materials that explains ECMO in more detail

Types of ECMO Therapy for Lung and Heart Conditions

There are two types of ECMO.

Venoarterial (VA) ECMO supports both the lungs and the heart. One cannula is placed in a major artery and the other is placed in a major vein.

Veno-venous (VV) ECMO is used for lung support only. One to two cannulas are placed in major veins.

Infants and children who require ECMO usually have a serious lung and/or heart condition which is considered reversible.

  • Meconium aspiration syndrome
  • Sepsis (infection)
  • Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension
  • Congenital diaphragmatic hernia
  • Heart support after open heart surgery
  • Pneumonia-bacterial or viral infection

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