Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) is an extreme form of invasive support using a machine similar to a heart lung machine. It is used in critically ill children, when other less invasive therapies have failed. Less than 5% of children admitted to Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at Alder Hey receive ECMO.
It is important to understand that ECMO is not a cure. It is used to give the failing heart and/or lungs time to recover and is only offered to children in whom recovery is possible.