Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) for Infants

​At the Henry Zarrow Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at The Children’s Hospital at Saint Francis, you can count on the most advanced technology available when your newborn needs it most.

We’re proud to be one of only two programs in Oklahoma offering extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) for term or near-term infants with heart or lung failure. Also called extracorporeal life support (ECLS), this therapy is a form of heart and lung bypass designed as a temporary support for infants who are failing all other conventional methods of life support. The ECMO system uses a circuit outside the body that directly oxygenates and removes carbon dioxide from the blood. It provides oxygenation and ventilation until lung and cardiac function has sufficiently recovered.

Many patients families and have benefitted from the success of our ECMO program; in fact, our survival rates exceed international averages.

Common Neonatal Conditions Requiring ECMO

Illnesses and disorders include:

  • Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH)
  • Heart malformations
  • Meconium Aspiration Syndrome (MAS)
  • Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension (PPHN) or severe pulmonary hypertension
  • Pneumonia
  • Post-op correction or palliation of congenital heart disease
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS)
  • Sepsis
  • Severe air leak problems

Ensuring a Safe Transfer for Critically Ill Infants

Early consultation with a neonatologist and your referring physician will determine appropriate time of transfer to our ECMO beds. Transport is arranged by our dedicated, specially trained ECMO team, committed to providing around-the-clock care for these children.

For more information about this life-saving treatment, please call Saint Francis HealthLink at 918-488-6688 or speak to your pediatrician.

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