Enabling the Heart and Lungs to Heal

Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), or extracorporeal life support, is a form of partial cardiopulmonary bypass at the bedside that uses a pump and artificial lung to function as the heart and lungs during the healing process from various injuries. It does not cure heart or lung disease, rather it temporarily assumes the work of the heart and lungs and gives them time to rest and heal.

ECMO is used when usual treatments are not working. The team at TMC identifies patients that may benefit from the use of this advanced treatment. Candidates include those suffering from pneumonia, flu, blood clots in the lungs (pulmonary embolism), heart failure and trauma.

Get a Physician Referral

If you need a referral to a cardiovascular surgeon, cardiac specialist or other physician at Texoma Medical Center, call our free physician referral service at 903-416-3627

How ECMO Works

The ECMO procedure involves channeling the patient's blood into a roller pump that serves as the patient's "heart" throughout treatment. The pump sends the blood through an oxygenator, which serves as an artificial lung, infusing the blood with oxygen and removing carbon dioxide and returning it to the patient.

During extracorporeal membrane oxygenation treatment, the patient's heart continues to beat, but its work is made easier because the ECMO machine does much of the pumping. The length of time a patient remains on therapy depends on the diagnosis and the patient's individual response.

Multidisciplinary ECMO Team

The ECMO team at TMC is a multidisciplinary group of medical professionals, including surgeons, intensive care providers, ECMO specialists, the ECMO coordinator, midlevel providers, nurses, rehabilitation therapists, respiratory therapists and dietitians who work together to deliver the highest quality care. Our program functions with a team approach to benefit all aspects of patient and family centered care.