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Emerg Med Clin North Am. 2008 Nov;26(4):953-9, ix. doi: 10.1016/j.emc.2008.07.010.

Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.

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Nationwide Children's Hospital, 700 Children's Drive, Columbus, OH, USA.


ECMO is an important tool to provide oxygen delivery and carbon dioxide removal in addition to cardiac support for patients with intractable reversible respiratory or cardiovascular collapse unresponsive to conventional treatment. Even though ECMO can be a life-saving modality, it is expensive and labor-intensive and carries a significant complication risk. Early recognition and prompt referral of patients who may benefit from ECMO in addition to careful patient selection, continuous communication between ECMO centers and their referral base, and meticulous care can improve the outcome of these critically ill patients who previously had no chance of survival.

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