Candidates for ECMO

ECMO is necessary for children and adults with severe, reversible lung and/or heart disease which are not responding to the standards of treatment. These standard forms of treatment include: mechanical ventilation, increased oxygenation and medications. Patients with severe heart failure prior to or following heart surgery would be candidates for ECMO. Even though ECMO is not a treatment, it can provide the time needed to allow the heart and lungs to improve with rest.

ECMO is used to help babies with a wide variety of medical challenges, including:
  • Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension
  • Meconium Aspiration Syndrome
  • Sepsis or infection
  • Pneumonia
  • Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia
  • Congenital Heart Disease / Post-op Shock Lung
  • Hyaline Membrane Disease.

ECMO is also used for older children suffering from the following conditions:

  • Post-op Cardiac Repair
  • Myocarditis
  • Sepsis
  • Pneumonia
  • Aspiration Pneumonia
  • Asthma
  • Near Drowning
  • Hydrocarbon Ingestion (lighter fluid, turpentine)

In adults, ECMO may be indicated for:

  • Underlying disease with reasonable likelihood of reversal
  • Septic Shock
  • Pneumonia
  • Pulmonary Failure
Contact Critical Care

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A recent quality-of-care assessment of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Nicklaus Children's conducted by the National Association of Children's Hospitals compares patient outcomes with results obtained from similar intensive care units around the country. Nicklaus Children's PICU was ranked excellent, the number one unit in the study, due principally to better than predicted results obtained in caring for the highest risk patients.