With the biggest extracorporeal life-support (ECLS) program in Canada, you will manage many patients on ECMO during your time in the TGH ICU. We care for venovenous (VV) and venoarterial (VA) ECMO patients. The approach to their care is very multidisciplinary with the involvement of thoracic surgeons, cardiologists specializing in advanced heart failure, perfusionists, and respiratory therapists.
The resources below will provide you with a basic overview of ECMO as well as troubleshooting principles that may be useful on call. For residents, it is helpful to have a basic understanding of the ECMO circuit but you will not be expected to manage patients on ECMO without direct supervision from the ICU fellows and attendings.
- ECMO 101: Another excellent free resource that covers the basics of ECMO.
- icuECMO: Excellent quick reference
- ICU OnePagers on ECMO Fundamentals and ECMO troubleshooting
- Videos and resources made by the TGH perfusionists for managing ECMO
- Spotlight on ECMO – Fundamental Concepts in Extracorporeal Life Support: Excellent series taught by Dr. Eddy Fan and other ECMO experts. Requires a free login to access but this is highly recommended for fellows starting a rotation at TGH. Though the videos have expired, you can still access the slides and other resources.
- Finally, some useful papers on ECMO can be found here, here, and here. It’s also important to know when ECMO is unlikely to help, which is outlined nicely in this paper.