ECMO is one of the most important technologies at Winnie Palmer Hospital. ECMO stands for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation - a long name that makes miracles possible. ECMO is a highly specialized piece of equipment that does the work of the baby or child's heart and lungs. Since Arnold Palmer Hospital first offered this technology to the Central Florida community in 1989, hundreds of children's lives have been saved.
Winnie Palmer Hospital is one of the only hospitals in Central Florida to offer ECMO.
What types of newborn complications result in using ECMO?
The ECMO program was the first of four in the state to provide the modified heart-lung bypass technology to infants and children with acute, severe respiratory or cardiac disease.
How does this important technology save lives?
Sometimes babies are born with lungs that are sick. ECMO breathes for them until their lungs can heal. If the heart needs healing, ECMO can do the heart's work, allowing it to rest if it's been affected by lung problems.
How many babies need ECMO each year?
Thirty to 40 babies are referred each year from hospitals throughout Central Florida for treatment with ECMO in the NICU at Winnie Palmer Hospital with 12-20 actually going on ECMO. The skill and expertise of our physicians, respiratory therapists, and nursing staff lends to the successful advance respiratory management of the other babies.
Dr. David Auerbach, Medical Director of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Winnie Palmer Hospital, discusses ECMO.