ECMO at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital

ECMO Center wins Award

We are proud to announce that the ECMO Center at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital has won the 2014 ELSO Award for Excellence in Life Support. Please read the letter from the ELSO Committee.

cc staff photo

Turning Heads, Saving Lives

Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) provides prolonged support of heart or lung function using mechanical devices, by draining venous blood, removing carbon dioxide, and adding oxygen via an artificial lung, and returning blood to the circulation via a vein (VenoVenous) or artery (VenoArterial). At Le Bonheur Children's Hospital, utilization of ECMO has contributed to saving the lives of the most critically ill children. Dr. Mark Bugnitz and Deborah Chyka, RN initiated our ECMO program in March, 1990 and we have treated more than 260 patients to date.

ECMO treats infants and children for disease processes such as severe respiratory failure, meconium aspiration, persistent pulmonary hypertension, congenital diaphragmatic hernia, sepsis, status asthmaticus, near drowning, cardiac failure, and more. The ECMO team also supervises the administration of Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy (CRRT).

Leaders of the ECMO team are Dr. Samir Shah (Medical Director), Samantha Ransome, RN (ECMO/Apheresis Coordinator) and Ricky Holloway, RN (ECMO/Apheresis Coordinator). The ECMO team consists of 37 specialists, with 28 RNs and 9 RRTs. The ECMO team works in conjunction with General Pediatric and CardioThoracic Surgery, as well as the PICU staff and to date have treated over 300 ECMO patients.

Extracorporeal Life Support Organization

The Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO) is an international consortium of health care professionals whom promote collaboration in the development and evaluation of therapies to support failing organ systems. Currently there are over 170 centers internationally that contribute data to the ELSO registry.

Each year, one of ELSO’s goals is to award international ECMO programs that showcase the highest level of performance, innovation, and quality with their “Center of Excellence” Award. This award is based on the exceptional and extraordinary achievement in three categories:

  • Excellence in promoting the mission, activities, and vision of ELSO
  • Excellence in patient care by using the highest quality measures, processes, and structures based upon evidence
  • And excellence in training, education, collaboration, and communication that supports the ELSO guidelines and contributes to a healing environment

In an environment now focused on “outcomes”, the ELSO Award for Excellence in Life Support provides evidence of the commitment of the institution to high quality state of the art healthcare. Le Bonheur Children's Hospital is a “great example of a center that has been in practice for awhile, seizing new opportunities for enhancing outcomes”(Hines, 2010).

Extracorporeal Life Support Organization. Retrieved September 29, 2010. Hines, M., (2010, September). [Letter of Award Approval]. Extracorporeal Life Support Organization.

Contact Us

Department of Pediatrics

Critical Care Division

Le Bonheur Children's Hospital
Children's Foundation
Research Center
50 N Dunlap, 3rd Floor
Memphis, TN 38103
Phone: 901-287-6303