What is ECMO?


What is ECMO ?

Ecmo experts logo egyptECMO 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. When you are connected to an ECMO, blood flows through tubing to an artificial lung in the machine that adds oxygen and takes out carbon dioxide; then the blood is warmed to body temperature and pumped back into your body.

There are two types of ECMO. The VA ECMO is connected to both a vein and an artery and is used when there are problems with both the heart and lungs. The VV ECMO is connected to one or more veins, usually near the heart, and is used when the problem is only in the lungs.

ECMO is indicated in severe heart or lung failure with 80% risk of mortality.

In experienced centers, overall survival to discharge ranges from 40% in cardiac arrest (ECPR) to 70% for respiratory failure in adults, 80% in children and newborns.

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