Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO)

Lifesaving technology

Advanced heart and respiratory care

ECMO gives cardiac and respiratory support when a patient’s heart and lungs are not working properly enough to sustain life. ECMO is similar to heart-lung bypass machines used during open-heart surgery.

UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital has been named an ECMO Center of Excellence – Gold by the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization.

What is Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO)?

ECMO is an advanced technique where your blood is withdrawn from a large vein in your body, then passed through a pumping mechanism and a device that adds oxygen and removes carbon dioxide. Your blood is then returned to your circulatory system and circulated throughout your body. ECMO is a potential short-term treatment for cardiac and respiratory failure resulting from such things as heart attack, infection, pneumonia, trauma or smoke inhalation.

The ECMO machine acts as a form of life support, maintaining blood flow and oxygenation to your body’s vital organs while your heart and lungs rest. We can support you on ECMO as long as your heart and lungs need to recover, or until a transplant becomes available.


Lifesaving heart and lung care

If you need ECMO, we can provide you with the highest level of care available. We’re ready to help you heal.

Where to find ECMO treatment