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Extracorporeal Life Support (ECMO)

cardiology doc with female patient

ecmo logoHennepin Healthcare has been designated as on the Pathway to Excellence in Life Support by achieving the Silver Level for our Extracorporeal Life Support Program by the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization. This recognizes our efforts to provide bedside cardio-respiratory support to critically-ill patients utilizing Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO), an alternative strategy for life support for adult and pediatric patients over 14 years old. This treatment available to patients who are experiencing acute respiratory or cardiac failure who are not improving with other life support methods.

Indications for ECMO


  • Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS)
  • Drowning
  • Smoke Inhalation
  • Chest Injury
  • Acute Pneumonia

Cardio Respiratory

  • Cardiogenic shock
  • Failure to wean from bypass in the operating room
  • Severe Hypothermia

Referring a Patient

Hennepin Healthcare is a regional referral center for both emergency and non-emergency/critical care cases and complex elective procedures. We can accept referrals and transfers of ECMO patients from hospitals throughout the region. We have the ability to transport critically ill patients by ground or air. Our highly skilled ECMO team can accompany the patient in transport. Access the physician referrals page.

Patients receiving ECMO life support are cared for in the Surgical ICU under the direction of cardiovascular surgeons and critical care physicians. The patient is monitored continuously by specially trained ICU nurses who collaborate with certified perfusionists and respiratory therapists.

Hennepin Healthcare is a leader in medical and surgical critical care and ECMO is another advanced treatment available to help patients recover from critical illness.

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