WHAT IS ECMO  ?

ECMO means extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation. Extra-corporeal means outside body.

This is used in fulminant failures of heart or lung or both.  Once attached to this machine functions of both lung and heart can be taken over by this machine.

This machine has both a pump and an oxygenator. Pump take care of the  function of heart and oxygenater take care of function of lungs.

This machine is connected to body through a major artery and a major vein.

This is a temporary life support which can be used for around 45 days in fulminant cardio-respiratory failure.

WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF ECMO?

Thera are mainly two types of ECMO. Veno-venous and Aretereo-venous.

A.VENO-VENOUS ECMO

Veno-venous ECMO, is used in isolated acute lung failures like svere pnumonia, organophosphorous poisoning,etc. Venous blood is directed to the oxygenerator from a major vein and re-infused after oxygenating in an outside membrane oxygenerator. This is continued while the lung is recovering. This system can support the acutely injured lung for as long as 45 days.

B. ARTEREOVENOUS ECMO

Artereo-venous ECMO is employed when both heart and lung fails. Venous blood is taken out from a major vein, oxygenated in an outside membrane oxygenerator and infused back to the body through a major artery using a pump. This help in emptieing the heart and therby giving it a temporary rest.

WHAT ARE THE INDICATIONS FOR ECMO ?

Acute heart failure, acute lung failure, fulminant lung failure,etc are the indications of ECMO.

WHAT ARE THE COMPLICATIONS OF ECMO  ?

Access site complications, coagulation disorders, infection, multiple organ dysfuntion,etc are the complications of ECMO.