Pediatric Respiratory ECMO

ECMO was originally reserved for patients predicted to have only a 20 percent chance of survival. Currently, ECMO is considered when all other forms of therapy—conventional and unconventional—have failed. ECMO assumes the role of the heart and lungs by pumping blood from the heart to an artificial lung machine, which adds oxygen to the blood and then returns it to the body.

Pediatric Respiratory ECMO Selection Criteria

Any pediatric patient (older than 28 days but younger than 18 years old) with acute respiratory failure is considered an ECMO candidate if they meet certain conditions including:

Any of these typical diagnoses:

  • Pneumonia
  • Status asthmaticus
  • Acute respiratory failure
  • Post trauma

Or a variety of aspiration syndromes, including:

  • Foreign body
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Water from near drownings