The ECMO Program uses innovation to provide you with the best care
Our ECMO Program is the only hospital in Brooklyn administering ECMO–TO-GO. Maimonides works with other area hospitals by sending the ECMO team to treat critically ill patients on-site and then conduct a transfer back to Maimonides. We are committed to making the patient process easier for you, the best we can, in any way that we can – starting with transportation, ECMO therapy, and various treatments.
The Maimonides Heart and Vascular Institute provide ECMO for support of failing organ systems in infants, children, and adults. The ECMO Program has saved countless lives by implementing a membrane oxygenator, a machine that mimics circulating blood outside of the body and channels it into a pump, serving as the “heart” throughout treatment. The pump sends blood through an oxygenator, which serves as an artificial lung. The artificial lung oxygenates the blood and removes carbon dioxide, and then returns the blood throughout the body as a healthy lung would. This innovative procedure gives patients temporary respiratory and cardiac support as they undergo treatment to the affected organ, allowing the heart and lungs to rest. This allows us to offer our patients comfort and optimal care throughout ECMO treatment.
There are 2 types of ECMO therapy:
- Venoarterial (VA) – VA ECMO provides support to both the heart and the lung
- Venovenous (VV) – VV ECMO is performed when the heart is functioning well, and only the lungs need support
Meeting with your ECMO Physician
The ECMO Physician will work with you to determine the most appropriate next steps and whether ECMO support is indicated. If so, the Maimonides ECMO Team will travel to the referring facility to evaluate the patient in person, and initiate ECMO on-site before transferring the patient back to Maimonides for definitive management.
- A feeding tube is often used to provide nutrition. It is placed through the nose or mouth and down into the stomach
- A ventilator is used to push air in and out of the lungs. It works in conjunction with the ECMO circuit
- Antibiotics are given to treat or prevent the spread of infections
- Blood thinners may be administered to reduce the risk of developing blood clots while on ECMO
- If there are kidney problems, continuous dialysis treatment may be administered using a device connected to the ECMO circuit to remove toxins from the body
- Medicines are administered for comfort, and to aid with rest and sleep. You may hear the terms, such as sedation or chemical paralysis. This long-term restful state increases the amount of oxygen the body intakes for healing
- Other tests, such as daily blood tests, are administered to see how the patient is responding to treatment
- Tests will be performed to check for the placement of tubes and cannulas including chest x-rays or Computerized Tomography (CT) scans
- The patient may have a tracheostomy. Also called a trach tube, it is a small tube placed into the neck to help direct air in and out of the lungs
- There are regular checks of vital signs such as temperature, heart rate, and breathing
Maimonides cares about your loved ones
If ECMO support is needed for your loved one, there will be several physicians and other care providers involved in their care. The intensive care unit staff along with the heart surgeons will be responsible for the daily care of the patient. The ECMO specialist nurse is specifically-trained to operate the ECMO circuit supervised by the perfusionist. A licensed perfusionist is trained in the management and operation of the ECMO circuit.
As the only hospital in Brooklyn administering ECMO-TO-GO, we’re right here when you need us the most. With innovative treatments and procedures, we are always ahead-of-the-curve when it comes to your happiness and your health. If you or a loved one requires ECMO care, place your trust in us, at Maimonides.