What is the purpose of the ECMO machine?

Uucsfhealth

Updated: 25th November 2019

Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) ECMO stands for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. The ECMO machine is similar to the heart-lung by-pass machine used in open-heart surgery. It pumps and oxygenates a patient's blood outside the body, allowing the heart and lungs to rest.

How long can you stay on a ECMO?

ECMO is generally continued until the underlying cardiac or lung problem is improved or resolved. The typical course is around five days, but in some cases, ECMO support has been continued for up to 25 to 30 days. Long-term ECMO support increases the chances of complications.

Is ECMO life support?

Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), also known as extracorporeal life support (ECLS), is an extracorporeal technique of providing prolonged cardiac and respiratory support to persons whose heart and lungs are unable to provide an adequate amount of gas exchange or perfusion to sustain life.
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