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Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation

For patients with severe respiratory or heart failure, Indiana University Health Critical Care physicians offer advanced, comprehensive treatment options.

Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) performs a vital function, ensuring oxygen is added to blood and carbon dioxide is removed from blood as it is pumped through the body. It is only used in patients with the most severe forms of respiratory failure caused by pneumonia or influenza, patients awaiting a heart or lung transplant, or patients with heart failure who are waiting for heart surgery.

ECMO works by pumping blood out of your body and into a machine. the blood is pumped along a membrane that adds oxygen to your blood and removes carbon dioxide from your blood. The blood is then pumped back into your body at the right temperature and with the right amount of oxygen to keep your body functioning properly.

IU Health Critical Care physicians monitor you closely while you are on ECMO. Our physicians have the experience and expertise to use this technology effectively and help you through severe illness.

How We Can Help

How We Can Help

Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Treatment Information

ECMO may be used in combination with other critical care services, such as:


Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Locations & Physicians

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Find a Specialist

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Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Support Services

While ECMO has been used with infants for many years, IU Health is one of the few hospitals have progressed to using the technology for adults. Find out more about ECMO and the conditions that require it at the websites below.