Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO)
ECMO is established as a successful method of cardiopulmonary support for a variety of indications. The availability of ECMO; complements other less invasive respiratory techniques within our intensive care unit – including high frequency oscillation & inhaled nitric oxide therapy, and also the heart failure and cardiac surgical programmes.
Respiratory ECMO allows the lungs to rest & recover without the stresses of barotraumas, volume trauma & oxygen toxicity associated with prolonged conventional or high frequency ventilation. Respiratory ECMO is a supportive intensive care technique offered to children who develop acute but potentially reversible, respiratory / Cardiac failure.
Cardiac ECMO rests the heart whilst maintaining perfusion allowing organs time to heal or for suitability for Transplantation to be established.
Background and History: Extracorporeal Life Support was adapted from Cardiopulmonary bypass used in open heart surgery. ECMO was first used successfully in the USA in 1974 and was introduced into this country in 1989. It was first set up at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in 1992, the UK collaborative trial of ECMO demonstrated that ECMO is an effective therapy for neonates with severe respiratory failure. In 1997 the Department of Health funded four centres in England and Scotland to provide a national ECMO service. In 2005 this service was extended to cover the paediatric age range (0-16 years). The hospital is registered with the Extra Corporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO). We now have six funded centres for children in the UK: Royal Hospital for Children: Glasgow, The Freeman Hospital: Newcastle, Glenfield Hospital: Leicester, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children: London. Alder hay Hospital: Liverpool and Birmingham Sick Children’s Hospital: Birmingham.
The ECMO Course is robust and the established ECMO programme provides training / education / information and guidance to ensure the training and development needs of the multiprofessional team are met. This course provides an ideal opportunity for the team to train together and reflect on how to provide best possible care and practice overcoming ‘real life’ scenarios in a safe environment.
We look forward to meeting you in London and working with you on your ECMO journey.
ECMO Service Team at GOSH
Dr. Tim Thiruchelvam–Lead Consultant ECMO
Maura O’Callaghan Lead Nurse ECMO/VAD
Lynn Pereira-ECMO/VAD CNS
Rebecca Jones-ECMO/VAD CNS
Pok Tsui-ECMO/VAD CNS
Dhimple Patel-VAD HCA