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Departments & Programs,UW Hospital and Clinics


ECMO - Departments & Programs, UW Hospital and Clinics

The ECMO team provides continuous bedside cardiopulmonary bypass for patients who meet specific criteria for ECMO support. ECMO specialists work under the direction of a perfusionist (a certified medical technician responsible for extracorporeal oxygenation of the blood during open heart surgery and for the operation and maintenance of heart/lung equipment) and pediatric or adult critical care physicians


What is ECMO?

ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) is a type of life support used after medicine and a breathing machine (ventilator) have failed to help a patient improve.

The ECMO machine works for the heart and lungs. It is the same heart/lung machine used for open-heart surgery. When patients are placed on ECMO, blood flows through the ECMO tubing, where it receives oxygen from the machine’s lung until the heart and/or lungs are able to work on their own.

Types of ECMO

There are two types of ECMO: VA and VV. The terms VA and VV refer to the blood vessels used in the treatment.

ECMO Risks


Extracorporeal Life Support Organization