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Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO)

ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) is a way to support the heart and lungs using a machine. The machine is similar to the cardiopulmonary bypass or heart lung machine used during heart surgery. It is used to support to children with reversible respiratory or cardiac problems that don’t respond to usual treatments.

ECMO can support children while doctors treat their underlying illness. Many children with life-threatening conditions make a full recovery with the ECMO procedure performed by cardiac surgeons at Inova Children's Hospital.