Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)



Is an extracorporeal technique of providing both Cardiac and respiratory support to persons whose heart and lungs are unable to provide an adequate amount of gas exchange to sustain life. ECMO works by removing blood from the person’s body and artificially removing the carbon dioxide and oxygenating red blood cells.

Major Indications:

  • Hypoxemic respiratory failure with a ratio of arterial oxygen tension to fraction of inspired oxygen (PaO2/FiO2) of < 100 mmHg despite optimization of the ventilator settings.
  • Hypercapnic respiratory failure with an arterial pH < 7.20
  • Refractory cardiogenic shock
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Failure to wean from cardiopulmonary bypass after Cardiac surgery
  • As a bridge to either heart transplantation or placement of a ventricular assist device
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