Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO)

ELSO Guidelines for Patient Care, Respiratory & Cardiac Support, ECMO in COVID-19

View ELSO guidelines for patient care, ELSO centers and training, respiratory support, circulatory/cardiac support, ECMO in COVID-19, special topics and news. Also find translations for select guidelines.

To submit an idea for a future ELSO guideline, please download this form, complete it, and email it to guidelines@elso.org

ELSO Guidelines

Patient Care Practice Guidelines

General Guidelines for all Cases

ELSO Guidelines General v1.4

Equipment, cannulation, safety measures and general management of ECLS patient are discussed within these guidelines.Last updated: August 2017

Transport Guideline

Guideline for Transport and Retrieval of Adult and Pediatric Patients with ECMO Support
Last updated: February 2022

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Guidelines for ECMO in COVID-19

ELSO has prepared an in-depth set of guidelines for ECMO in COVID-19 patients. These have been collaboratively developed by a global team of ECMO experts. The guidelines include: patient selection criteria, cannulation and decannulation strategies, transport on ECMO, PPE and staff protection strategies with ECMO, to ethical dilemmas and quality. ELSO wants to recognize the leadership of Kiran Shekar in chairing the development of these guidelines during a critical time

Special Topic Guidelines

ELSO H1N1 Specific Guidelines

Pre-ECMO through Post-ECMO care of the influenza A(H1N1)-associated ARDS patient are described herein.
Last updated: November 2009

Interim Guidelines Consensus Statement From the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization

Management of Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Treated With Extracorporeal Life Support
Last updated: February 2021

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Center and Training Guidelines

ELSO Guidelines For ECMO Centers v1.8

Provides centers with physical and personnel attributes needed to safely provide ECMO. Last Update: March 2014

ELSO Guidelines for Training and Continuing Education of ECMO Specialists

New and experienced ECMO centers will find valuable information regarding the training and continuing education of the bedside ECMO specialist here

Guideline Translations

Spanish Translations

Japanese Translation

Korean Translation

ELSO Guidelines General v1.4 Korean

Last updated: August 2017

Disclaimer: These guidelines are intended for educational use to build the knowledge of physicians and other health professionals in assessing the conditions and managing the treatment of patients undergoing ECLS / ECMO and describe what are believed to be useful and safe practice for extracorporeal life support (ECLS, ECMO) but these are not necessarily consensus recommendations. The aim of clinical guidelines are to help clinicians to make informed decisions about their patients. However, adherence to a guideline does not guarantee a successful outcome. Ultimately, healthcare professionals must make their own treatment decisions about care on a case-by-case basis, after consultation with their patients, using their clinical judgement, knowledge and expertise. These guidelines do not take the place of physicians’ and other health professionals’ judgment in diagnosing and treatment of particular patients. These guidelines are not intended to and should not be interpreted as setting a standard of care, or be deemed inclusive of all proper methods of care nor exclusive of other methods of care reasonably directed to obtaining the same results. The ultimate judgment must be made by the physician and other health professionals and the patient in light of all the circumstances presented by the individual patient, and the known variability and biological behavior of the clinical condition. These guidelines reflects the data at the time the guidelines were prepared; the results of subsequent studies or other information may cause revisions to the recommendations in these guidelines to be prudent to reflect new data, but ELSO is under no obligation to provide updates. In no event will ELSO be liable for any decision made or action taken in reliance upon the information provided through these guidelines.