1. Intensive Care
  2. Intensive Care
  3. ECMO - Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation
  • ECMO - Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation

ECMO - Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation

About the ECMO Program

Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is form a treatment for people who have severe and life-threatening illness that stops their heart or lungs from working properly. The ECMO machine replaces the function of the heart and lungs by removing blood from the body, running it through the machine and then pumping it back into the body.

At Ochsner LSU Health, we're proud to offer an ECMO program that serves all ages, from the tiniest newborn and premature infants, to children and adults. Our team of ECMO specialists include physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, occupational therapists and other healthcare professionals. Having a multidisciplinary team allows us to offer the best care for our patients.

People who need support from an ECMO machine are cared for in our hospital’s intensive care unit (ICU). Typically, people are supported by an ECMO machine for only a few hours to days, but may require it for a few weeks, depending on how their condition progresses.

ECMO is used to help people whose:

  • Lungs cannot provide enough oxygen to the body even when given extra oxygen
  • Lungs cannot get rid of carbon dioxide even with help from a mechanical ventilator
  • Heart cannot pump enough blood to the body ECMO may also be used to support people with heart or lung disease that cannot be cured while they wait for an organ transplant (e.g. new heart and/or lungs).

Why Choose Ochsner LSU Health?

Our team has been providing this service for nearly 30 years and is internationally recognized. We have critical care fellows in the hospital who are trained to take care of our patients 24/7 and an ECMO attending on call 24/7/365. Our center has been recognized as a Gold Center of Excellence by the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO), a unique organization devoted to the application and advancement of extracorporeal techniques worldwide. This association keeps Ochsner LSU Health at the forefront of this complex technology.

Services Provided

Our team provides ECMO for neonates, children and adults until they recover or if they don’t recover, then we have the capability to transport them to centers that can provide transplant services. We provide all forms of ECMO including Venovenous or VV ECMO which is primarily lung support, Venoarterial or VA ECMO which primarily provides heart support, and hybrid forms which provide support for the lungs and heart.

We also have an ECMO transport program that is capable of travelling to a referring hospital, placing a patient on ECMO, and then transporting them back to Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport for further care. This team is available 24/7 to provide this service. We have access to both air and ground transport depending on the location of the patient needing the service.

Conditions We Treat

Multiple conditions can be treated with ECMO including, but not limited to:

  • Lung failure due to flu, COVID-19, pneumonia, sepsis, ARDS, asthma
  • Heart failure due to heart attack, cardiac arrest, cardiogenic shock
  • Pulmonary embolism: large blood clot in the lungs
  • Traumatic injury patients

Treatments Provided

Our team is on the forefront of advances in Extracorporeal Life Support. Through research and staying up to date on the literature, we provide the most updated care around. In recent years, we have been involved as a participating center in multiple research projects designed to advance the field of extracorporeal life support.

Patient Referral Information

We work with the Regional Referral Center to evaluate patients. Any referring physician can contact our referral center at 1-855-647-5465 and ask to transfer a patient for an ECMO evaluation.

  • ECMO - Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation