History of ECMO Program
In 1989, Arkansas Children’s Hospital joined a small but growing number of pediatric centers offering the supportive technique of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) for acute, reversible respiratory and cardiac failure in neonates and children. By that time, ECMO was becoming a more commonly used modality to support the acutely failing lungs or heart, particularly in neonates. In that same year, the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO) was chartered to oversee and supervise a registry of patients supported with ECMO, to help standardize approaches to care, and to stimulate research into respiratory failure and its therapies. Arkansas Children’s Hospital was one of the original members of ELSO. Now, 17 years later, the ECMO program at ACH is one of the nation’s busiest, having supported almost 650 patients with a variety of diseases causing acute cardiorespiratory failure.
In 2007, the ECLS program at Arkansas Children's Hospital received the ELSO Award for Excellence in Life Support.