ECMO / ECLS (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation / Extracorporeal Life Support)

The Extracorporeal Life Support (ECLS) service at the Saudi Intensive Care Association provides comprehensive short-term support for adult patients with severe, acute, potentially reversible lung or heart failure. 

The Program has been registered with the Extracorporeal Life Support Organisation (ELSO centre: pending). ELSO is the recognised international organisation for extracorporeal support and is based in University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA. In addition to promoting the highest educational standards for extracorporeal practice, ELSO also maintains a worldwide registry of all extracorporeal activity in both adults and children. The SICA ECLS service and training course is firmly based on ELSO educational guidelines.

The use of ECLS for adult patients with severe lung failure has increased in the past 5 years. A favourable outcome can be anticipated where there is timely patient selection and the technical and clinical expertise is well established in the ECLS centre. Patients with severe hypoxaemia or who develop progressive deterioration in gas exchange or lung compliance despite optimal efforts to apply a 'lung protection' conventional mechanical ventilation strategy should be considered for ECLS. The outcome after ECLS is improved if extracorporeal support is initiated before progression to intractable lung failure (i.e. less than 7 days of high pressure mechanical ventilation).



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