The ECMO program provides various services including:
Bed bath: Your child will be given a gentle bed bath as often as needed. You may help bathe your child if they are stable enough.
Feeding: While on ECMO, your child will receive all the necessary nutrition, including vitamins, minerals and electrolytes, through the IV catheter or a feeding tube.
Lab work: The nurses will collect blood samples from the catheters that have already been put into place in your child.
Lung percussion: Many times it will be necessary for the Respiratory Therapist (RT) to gently pound on your child’s chest with a percussor to loosen the thick secretions. This will help your child’s lungs to heal.
Medications: Your child’s doctor will use many types of medications, including pain medications, to make sure that everything possible is being done to help your child be comfortable and heal while he or she is on the ECMO machine.
Positioning the body: The way your child’s body is positioned will help the lungs to heal better. The doctors, ECMO specialists, and nurses will decide which position is best for your child.
Special procedures: Sometimes children on ECMO need special procedures in other departments of the hospital.
Ultrasound: Babies may need to receive ultrasounds of their head to make sure there is not any bleeding inside the brain. Your child may also need an ultrasound or “echocardiogram” of the heart while on the ECMO machine.
Weighing: Your child’s weight will determine what medications will be given and if your child is getting too much fluid or not enough. You child may be weighed every night.
X-ray: Your child will have an x-ray every day that he or she is on the ECMO machine to make sure that the cannulas stay in the proper position and to allow the doctors to see how the lungs look.