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Fifteen-minute consultation: When to consider extracorporeal membrane oxygenation
  1. Miriam R Fine-Goulden,
  2. Jon Lillie
  1. Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, Evelina London Children's Hospital, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Miriam R Fine-Goulden, Paediatric Intensive Care, Evelina London Children's Hospital, London, London, UK; miriam.finegoulden{at}


Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is a form of organ support which is used for severe, potentially reversible respiratory, cardiac or cardiorespiratory failure. While it is associated with significant risk of intracerebral injury in neonates and children, outcomes can be excellent, and timely referral is associated with improved survival and reduced morbidity. This article provides a concise summary of the technical aspects of ECMO support, indications for referral, complications, outcomes and important considerations for follow-up.

  • intensive care units, neonatal
  • intensive care units, paediatric
  • paediatrics
  • neonatology

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.