Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation
ECMO refers to extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, a process of supplying oxygenated blood to the body when the heart and lungs are incapable of doing so. A tube is inserted into the patient's femoral vein by a cardiac surgeon. Blood is then extracted and oxygenated via an external device, and that oxygenated blood is reinserted into the femoral artery. The ECMO device acts as a temporary artificial heart and lungs that fuels the body until the heart and lungs regain normal function. A specially trained perfusionist monitors the ECMO device and calibrates it to the patient's needs.
New York Methodist Hospital is one of only three hospitals in Brooklyn that has the ECMO technology.
For more information on NYM's Institute for Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery, call 1.866.84.HEART (866.844.3278).