Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)

Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)


When you are in extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) blood is circulated out of your body into the heart-lung machine, which removes carbon dioxide and then releases oxygen-filled blood back to tissues within the body. The blood flows across the right-hand side of the body into the membrane oxygenator inside the heart-lung device, and after that, it is warmed up and then transferred back to the body.

This technique allows the bloodstream to “bypass” the heart and lung, allowing the organs time to relax and recover.

ECMO is employed in critical situations when your lungs and heart require assistance so that they can heal. It can be utilized in medical care for COVID-19, ARDS, and various other and others.

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What’s the reason for it?

ECMO can be utilized to aid those who are seriously sick and suffering from conditions of the lungs and heart or who are waiting for a transplant. It is a possibility in cases where other measures to support life haven’t been successful. ECMO Does not treat or cure the disease, but it may aid you when your body isn’t able to supply your tissues with enough oxygen.

A few heart-related conditions could be a cause for concern. ECMO The most common uses are:

  • Heart attack (acute myocardial infarction)
  • The heart muscle disorder (decompensated cardiomyopathy)
  • The heart muscle is inflamed (myocarditis)
  • Life-threatening reaction in response to an infection (sepsis)
  • The body temperature is low (severe hypothermia)
  • Post-transplant complications
  • Heart attack caused by not pumping blood enough (cardiogenic shock)

Certain Lung (pulmonary) conditions can be caused by ECMO The most common uses are:

  • SARS – Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome ( ARDS )
  • A pulmonary artery is blocked within the lung (pulmonary embolism)
  • Coronavirus disease, 2019 (COVID-19)
  • Diaphragm defect (congenital diaphragmatic hernia)
  • The fetus breathes in waste products from the womb (meconium aspiration)
  • Flu (influenza)
  • Hantavirus-related pulmonary syndrome
  • The blood pressure of the lung (pulmonary hypertension)
  • Pneumonia
  • Respiratory failure
  • Trauma


The most commonly-cited risk that could be present is ECMO include:

  • Bleeding
  • A blood clot (thromboembolism)
  • Blood clotting disorder (coagulopathy)
  • Infection
  • Blood loss in hands, feet, or legs (limb Ischemia)
  • Seizures
  • The Stroke (part in the brain affected by the bleeding or the rupture of a blood vessel)

How do you create

ECMO is utilized when the need for life support arises following surgery, or if you’re very sick and your lungs or heart require assistance in order to recover. The doctor will determine whether it is beneficial. If you require ECMO Your physician and experienced respiratory therapists will be able to prepare you.

What are the things you can be prepared to

The doctor will place an extremely thin elastic tube (cannula) into an artery to draw blood, and then a second tube into an artery or vein to deliver warmed blood oxygen back to the body. There are other drugs you will receive that include sedation to help you relax during the procedure. ECMO, It is possible that you won’t be able to communicate during this period.

Based on your health condition, ECMO can be used for anything from a few days to several weeks. The time period you are given ECMO is contingent on your health conditions. Your doctor will speak with you or your family members about what you can be expecting.


The results associated with ECMO Depend on the nature of the health issue which led to the need for ECMO. Your doctor can tell you how beneficial ECMO could be the case in your particular situation.

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