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Sunday, January 8, 2017

What is ECMO?

What is ECMO procedure?

In this post, we will see about ECMO extended as Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation, it is a life-supporting measure used in end-of-life saving procedures of a patient who suffers from life to death. The main purpose of ECMO is to provide oxygenation support to a patient either in postoperative phase or any. In simple words, ECMO provides both cardiac and respiratory support to a patient when needed, when the patient's heart and lungs fail to function properly in critical situations.

Who will get ECMO support, in general?

ECMO provides required oxygenation support to save life from death in crucial situations and so doctors can try their best effort to save the patient's life.  In common situation, ECMO is used in children, and also used in adults with heart and lungs failure cases. In this condition, blood carbon di-oxide of a patient is removed by giving oxygenation support.


ECMO device set-up:

In ECMO procedure, three cylinders, one with oxygen, second with air, and the third for collection of impure carbon di-oxide gast from the patients are used.  These three cylinders are attached to a gas blender. Gas blender is attached to a oxygenator that is attached to a blood pump device. Cannulas connecting the patient's lungs and heart is attached to a bladder box, pressure module and heat exchanger.

Where ECMO is necessary?

ECMO can be applied in a patient with less oxygen in his or her blood i.e. less than 100 mmHg oxygen in their blood, patients with refractory cardiogenic shock or in patients with cardiac arrest, patients who fail to wean from CP bypass surgery, or in patients of cardiac transplant or patients got ventricular assist devices etc.

Types of ECMO:

Venovenous ECMO and Veno-arterial ECMO are of 2 types this can be used in human body.  In both of these situation, blood that is drained from the body is given oxygen from outside source other than human breathing that is happening naturally for a healthy one.  Pure blood after oxygenation process outside source is return to the vein system in VV ECMO procedure and so cardiac support is not needed,

There is no guarantee that a patient can be given life for sure after ECMO procedure, but it is an additional final support in saving a patient who are with lung and heart failures.