Extra-Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO), also known as extracorporeal life support (ECLS), is a temporary life support technique to keep patients alive when their heart and/or lungs stop functioning. It can be used to provide cardiac and respiratory support for up to a few weeks, during which the patient recovers.
If recovery does not occur, the patient can receive a longer-term mechanical assist device or undergo
heart transplantation. Patients on ECMO support are given an anticoagulant, to prevent blood clotting in the external system.
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