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Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO)

Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation is performed by Neonatologists at Kentucky Children's Hospital. Newborns from all over the region are transported to our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit by our Neonatal Emergency Transport Service.

When a newborn is in respiratory distress, sometimes the best option for saving the child's life is an advanced treatment using an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine.

During the procedure, blood is drained from the infant's body through tubes. The blood is then oxygenated and the carbon dioxide is removed. The blood is warmed and then returned to the body through more tubes. With the ECMO machine doing the work of the infant's heart and lungs, the underdeveloped organs are given time to heal.

Page last updated: 12/31/2013 3:05:56 PM