Talk:Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation

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Personal Anecdote[edit]

My story in regards to the E.C.M.O. machine is one of success. Our infant son, Alec, when he was born suffered from severe respiratory distress and the Doctor's did not know why. The ultrasound's performed prior to his birth did not indicate any problems, and he was 9lbs 1oz at birth. The doctor's tried conventional medicine to help his lungs heal, but to no avail. The Doctor's approached us after 4 days of the treatment, and said that Alec needs to be placed on the E.C.M.O. machine. They said that is the last resort, and if we choose not to he will not survive. We reviewed the informational booklet that explained the risks associated with the machine, and how there is a 20% chance that even with the machine he would not survive. We decided that if the Doctor's offered us this procedure, they must be confident that he could definetly benefit from it. He was on E.C.M.O. for 6 days, and let me tell you that was a rough 6 days. He retained fluid, that made him gain ~15 excess pounds. Alec looked like a "bloated bullfrog" with a huge canula tube surgically placed in the jugular vein on his right side. The machine worked, and allowed his lungs to heal on their own. We are extremely grateful and blessed with our miracle boy. There was another infant placed on the E.C.M.O. machine a day after Alec, and after about 8 days the Doctor's said that that infant would not survive. It was extremely heartbreaking to see the other family go through that, but on the other side we were relieved that our son survived. As a result of being on the E.C.M.O. machine, Alec developed "extra axial infancy fluid" in his brain that the Doctor's have said is benign, and to not worry about it. We struggle with this answer though because he goes through bouts where it seems like the pressure in his head might be hurting him because he will scream for no other apparent reason and flail about for sometimes over 1/2 hour. We have had a M.R.I. and Catscan done, and it shows the extra fluid and that the right side of his brain is not as developed as his left. We do not know if this is all related the being on the machine, or if this was just normal development. We had one Pediatrician state that this is a side affect to being on E.C.M.O. and that by 18 months it resolves itself. He is 20 months now, and it has not resolved. He also developed "toricolis" from being on E.C.M.O. because his neck had to stay in a certain position that entire time. He is developmentally behind in his gross and fine motor skills, and has low tone. He goes to physical therapy once a week, occupational therapy twice a month, music therapy once a week, and will be seeing a teacher and speech therapist soon. We would like to hear from other famillies who have had similar experiences so that we might be able to get insight from other families. We have tried to doing research on the Internet and have been unable to locate any information of substance. Please share your information with us at Thank you for reading our article and we hope that it might give other families hope if they are faced with a similar situation.

-- 14:12, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

would the Novalung be a form of ECMO?[edit]

Hello, I recently learned of a device known as a "Novalung" that was successfully used to keep a patient alive until she could receive a heart-lung transplant. Her story is in the Feb. 15 issue of the Globe and Mail newspaper. I gather that this device has been more widely used in Europe.

1. would this device be considered a form of ECMO?
2. if so, would it be fine to mention it in the article, or failing that, to have an article of its own?

More links on the topic include:
Novalung corporate website, English version
Cardiothoracic Surgery Network 1 Sep. 2006
Medgadget Feb. 15, 2007

I don't have any commercial interest in the device, and I'm trying to figure out if there is a more "generic" term that could be used instead of the trademark "Novalung". Thanks for any input. --Kyoko 14:31, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

Actually the NovaLung is just one type of membranous oxygenating device, yes it is an ECMO devide. "ECMO" is a concept regarding the whole intensive care situation around the patient, machines, personell, medication etc. I think it's not of a great interest to mention the brand name of each detail in this complex setup while there are hundreds of pieces... /JAKE

-I would say it's not, since the E in ECMO stands for extracorporeal (meaning outside of the body). (talk) 07:05, 27 April 2010 (UTC)

Expanding the Article[edit]

The overall article has very little information. Someone already noted that it should be expanded, but no discussion of that has started yet. I'm sure there's more medical information that could be included in the article, but I'm especially interested in the history of the treatment/procedure.

I underwent ECMO in 1987 and I've been told it was a relatively new treatment back then, possibly even still in the experimental stages of a new treatment. What is the first known ECMO procedure (what was used, where, by whom, for what purpose) and when did it happen? How has the treatment evolved through history? There's a lot that could be said about ECMO and the current Wikipedia article only begins to address some of the material. (talk) 07:09, 27 April 2010 (UTC)

Cost and Maintenance[edit]

Since this machine is costly to begin with and requires a lot of specialized personnel to upkeep it, it would be beneficial to know its starting point cost and maintenance cost on a monthly basis. This is important to know since the benefit of such a machine to the human population as a whole has to be balanced against high costs and individual success rate. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Eandronic (talkcontribs) 17:01, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

I think that the following could be made clearer and more informative:

Initial cannulation of a patient receiving ECMO is performed by a surgeon ->

A tube is inserted (cannulation/link) to provide oxygen to the patient's blood (sorry not able to add edit summary) ^^^^


Patient name in photo[edit]

There is a photograph in which the name of the patient is displayed. The naming of patients would appear unnecessary, even if consent has been given. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Xapbpoh (talkcontribs) 13:04, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

Keep mechanical ventilator on?[edit]

doi:10.1186/cc13702 review in Critical Care on ventilatory strategies while on ECMO. JFW | T@lk 10:00, 26 January 2014 (UTC)

ECMO care in transport.[edit]

Here is a article that would seem to fit here.

Articseahorse (talk) 20:11, 31 January 2014 (UTC)

General review[edit]

J Hosp Med doi:10.1002/jhm.2262 JFW | T@lk 14:41, 21 October 2014 (UTC)