The use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is growing rapidly in all patient populations, especially adults for both acute lung or heart failure. ECMO is a complex, high risk, resource-intense, expensive modality that requires appropriate planning, training, and management for successful outcomes. This article provides an optimal approach and the basic framework for initiating a new ECMO program, which can be tailored to meet local needs. Setting up a new ECMO program and sustaining it requires institutional commitment, physician champions, multidisciplinary team involvement, ongoing training, and education of the ECMO team personnel and a robust quality assurance program to minimize complications and improve outcomes.
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Disclosure: R.P.B. is the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO) Registry Chair; he reports grants from National Institute of Health (NIH) R01 HL 153519, R01 HD015434. The other authors have no conflicts of interest to report.
© ASAIO 2022.