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Since 1979, the ECMO program at the Heart Institute at Children's Hospital has helped kids with complex heart and lung problems.
ECMO is short for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and is a form of life support.
When the heart and lungs are too weak to give the body oxygen, ECMO:
The ECMO machine lets the heart and lungs rest and heal. Children can be on ECMO for a few days or weeks.
ECMO treatment and support helps:
In 2008, Children’s became one of a few pediatric hospitals across the country to offer ECMO transport for kids with failing hearts.
Some children we transport need a heart transplant or longer term heart support with a ventricular assist device. We have both at Children’s.
Subject to the weather, the mode of transport we use for children on ECMO is either:
It takes the team about 2½ hours to arrive at the bedside and get your child into the helicopter or ambulance. The entire transport time — from leaving the hospital to returning to Children's — takes about 12½ hours.
After referral and transport, our critical care and surgical staff place your child on ECMO and jointly manage care.
A large group of specially trained ECMO technicians is ready to support constant bedside perfusion management. And post-ECMO follow-up is also part of the transport service.
As soon as your child is healthy enough after ECMO support, he or she will return to your referring doctor for care.
Referrals to the ECMO program at Children’s Hospital often come from our critical care doctors or one of the hospital’s ICUs.
We can provide rapid medical transport to the hospital.
To refer a child for:
The referral base for ECMO extends beyond western Pa. to the:
To learn more about the ECMO program at Children's Hospital, call Perfusion Services at 412-692-5218.
Medical direction of ECMO services is a joint effort among pediatric:
Children's Hospital's main campus is located in the Lawrenceville neighborhood. Our main hospital address is:
UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
One Children’s Hospital Way
4401 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
In addition to the main hospital, Children's has many convenient locations in other neighborhoods throughout the greater Pittsburgh region.
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Interested in giving to Children's Hospital? Support the hospital by making a donation online, joining our Heroes in Healing monthly donor program, or visiting our site to learn about the other ways you can give back.