Which equipment is needed to perform pediatric ECMO?

Updated: Dec 21, 2017
  • Author: Edwin Rodriguez-Cruz, MD; Chief Editor: Stuart Berger, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

The extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) apparatus consists of a blood pump with raceway tubing, a venous reservoir, a membrane oxygenator, and a countercurrent heat exchanger, as shown in the image below.

Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) system. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) system.

The blood pump is either a simple roller pump (most common) or a constrained vortex centrifugal pump. The roller pump causes less hemolysis and is used for neonatal ECMO. The venous reservoir is used with the roller pump for neonatal ECMO. The oxygenator is responsible for exchanging both oxygen and carbon dioxide and is central to the successful performance of prolonged ECMO. Three types of commercial artificial lungs are available: bubble, membrane, and hollow-fiber devices. The heat exchanger warms the blood using a countercurrent mechanism. Blood is exposed to warm water that circulates within metal tubing.


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