ECMO is a means of supplying patients with insufficient blood perfusion in the body or gas exchange in the lungs with lung and heart help. Until it is restored to provide oxygen to the tissues and organs, blood is pumped from the body into an artificial lung, oxygenating red blood cells and extracting excess carbon dioxide. When will Extra Corporporeal Membrane Oxygenation be used? Extra Corporporeal Membrane Oxygenation may be requested by patients for a variety of reasons, but they will typically experience serious acute lung or heart failure and have not responded to traditional therapy. Guidelines released by the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization suggest that ECMO is considered only when a 50 percent mortality risk is already expected for the patient and is typically indicated at 80 percent. It’s very costly to keep patients on ECMO for long periods of time, and only of benefit if the patient is likely to recover from the experience. Therefore, other variables are often considered, such as the existence of pre-existing conditions, the patient’s age and height, and the futility of the procedure. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) permits the use of ECMO for continuous use for up to six hours during medical procedures or transport, and for longer periods of respiratory support. Many Extra Corporporeal Membrane Oxygenation recommended patients undergo extreme cardiogenic shock, which is when the heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet the needs of the body, typically after a severe heart attack. The next most considered category for Extra Corporporeal Membrane Oxygenation involves patients with biventricular heart failure and extreme hypoxemia who have not benefited from other treatments. During Extra Corporporeal Membrane Oxygenation, careful patient monitoring is crucial, as although it can relieve pressure from the central veins, right atrium, and right ventricle, the left atrium is under increased pressure due to infusion into the aorta, so the risk of developing ischemia-mediated necrosis is increased for patients with poor contractile heart function. Extra Corporporeal Membrane Oxygenation is only used as a temporary support mechanism for patients who are either expected to heal spontaneously, such as those with myocarditis, or who are undergoing transplantation or other major procedures. Systemic inflammatory response syndrome, vascular injury, and stroke are common complications, so alternatives such as ventricular assist devices are still considered. Only Extra Corporporeal Membrane Oxygenation, however, provides carbon dioxide removal and blood oxygenation, so it is necessary in cases requiring lung support.