Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation or (ECMO) is a general acronym describing the long term use of an artificial blood oxygenator in an extracorporeal circuit to support or replace a newborn’s undeveloped or failing lungs, or a pediatric or adult patient’s damaged, infected, or failing lungs to allow treatment and healing. Membrane oxygenators are routinely employed in cardiopulmonary bypass circuits also.
Neonatal ECMO is well-studied, professionally represented and patient information is databased at the national level. Long-term ECMO for pediatric and adult patients is performed clinically in large healthcare centers. Membrane oxygenators are employed in extracorporeal circuits with blood pumps designed to provide emergency cardiorespiratory assist after heart failure/attack, drowning, or exposure to cold weather.