Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO): A treatment for neonates in respiratory failure

D. S. Morris, L. S. Gonzalez, S. R. Stewart, J. Sampers

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is a procedure that provides prolonged circulation and reoxygenation of blood outside the body to temporarily support a patient's failing heart or lungs. It has been used successfully for 25 years to treat term or near-term infants in respiratory failure. This article begins with a brief history of ECMO use and outlines the ECMO procedure. It describes typical ECMO patients including the underlying diagnoses of infants most often requiring ECMO treatment, eligibility requirements for ECMO candidates, and the most common patient and mechanical complications occurring during the ECMO procedure. Outcomes, including survival rates and short- and long-term risks, are also presented. A description of the ECMO program at the University of Kentucky is included, with a description of the outcomes of a small sample of infants. The article concludes with a summary and discussion of implications for early interventionists.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-238
Number of pages24
JournalInfant-Toddler Intervention
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Rehabilitation


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