What Is ECMO?

ECMO Terms

  • ACT (Activated Clotting Time): A test that measures how many seconds it takes for the blood to clot.
  • Cannulas: Tubes that the surgeon places in the blood vessels; they carry blood from the patient to the ECMO system and returns it to the patient.
  • Decannulate: To remove the catheter from the blood vessel.
  • ECMO Flow: The amount of blood that moves through the circuit per minute.
  • ECMO Pump: The pump that controls the ECMO flow by pushing the blood forward.
  • Heat Exchanger: Warms the blood before it is returned to the patient.
  • Membrane Oxygenator: The artificial lung that adds oxygen and removes carbon dioxide from the blood.
  • The ECMO team: A team composed of specially trained Physicians, Registered Respiratory Therapists, Registered Nurses, Perfusionists and other allied health professionals.
  • Trial off: A test period off ECMO in which the ventilator settings are turned up and the ECMO support is stopped for a period of time; this will show how the patient’s heart and lungs are healing.
  • Veno-Venous ECMO (VV): The type of ECMO used to support the lungs. Veno-Arterial ECMO (VA): The type of ECMO used to support both the lungs and heart.