ECMO Center Receives Excellence Award

When an acutely ill or severely injured child is literally hanging on for life, he or she can be saved with the help of ECMO, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (literally, out-of-body heart-lung support).


Essentially, ECMO works as an artificial heart for children who have a failing heart or as an artificial lung for children with failing lungs.


Recently, American Family Children's Hospital's ECMO program, which has been operating since 2000, received the Award for Excellence in Life Support by the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO).


"The ELSO Award signifies to patients and families a commitment to exceptional patient care," says ELSO Steering Committee Chair Steven Conrad, MD. "It also demonstrates high quality standards, specialized equipment and supplies, defined patient protocols and advanced education of all staff members."


American Family Children's Hospital's Tom Brazelton, MD, medical director of the ECMO program, says the entire team earned the award through years of training and hard work.


"ECMO offers the highest level of support for extraordinarily sick or severely traumatized children who otherwise would not survive. I am proud of the team for making this program a success."