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Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Treatment Information
ECMO may be used in combination with other critical care services, such as:
- Respiratory support. While on ECMO, you may continue to receive ventilatory support through a tracheostomy or endotracheal intubation. Most patients are on ventilatory support before they are placed on ECMO. A ventilator breathes for you by pumping oxygen-rich blood directly into your lungs. The ventilator is attached to a tube that runs into your lungs in one of two ways. Some patients receive endotracheal intubation, in which a tube is inserted through your mouth or nose and down into your throat. Other patients have a tracheostomy, a procedure in which a tube is placed directly into the throat through an incision in the front of your neck. You receive ventilatory support through either method depending on your condition and needs.
- Parenteral nutrition. When on ventilatory support, you will not be able to eat normally. In most cases, patients receive nutrition intravenously (through an IV). The nutrients you need, as well as proteins, fats and carbohydrates, are pumped directly into your blood so your body can continue functioning.
- Coordinated care. IU Health Critical Care physicians collaborate closely with other specialists involved in your care, such as pulmonologists, who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of lung conditions, and cardiologists, who find, treat and prevent diseases of the heart and blood vessels. This collaboration ensures that you continue to receive treatment for these conditions and are well enough for surgical procedures. Our multidisciplinary team of respiratory therapists, nurses, social workers and chaplains also see to you and your family’s other needs such as emotional and spiritual well-being, as well as guidance on legal and financial matters. We strive to give you the support you need during a difficult time.
Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Locations & Physicians
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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.
A Sampling of Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Support Services
IU Health Heart & Vascular Care
Learn more about how our cardiologists provide expert, advanced care for heart failure and other cardiovascular issues.
IU Health Pulmonology & Respiratory Care
Visit our website for more information on pulmonary care services at IU Health.
National Institutes of Health
This NIH site discusses critical care services, the latest research in clinical care and the use of ECMO in infants.