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YNHCH receives international award for ECMO life-support program

Yale New Haven Children's Hospital recently received the "Center of Excellence in Life Support" award from the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO) for its pediatric ECMO program.

ECMO, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, is a special infant life-support system used for life-threatening heart and/or lung problems. The ECMO machine adds oxygen to the blood and removes carbon dioxide, providing the opportunity for the sick heart and/or lungs to rest and heal.

YNHH's pediatric ECMO program, established in 1992, is the only one in the state and one of just three such ELSO-registered programs in New England. The program brings together physicians, respiratory therapists and nurses specially trained in ECMO. YNHCH is also one of the few ECMO centers in the country to have certified ECMO specialists exclusively at the patient's bedside throughout the duration of the ECMO treatment, which can last from a few days to weeks.

ELSO is an international consortium of healthcare professionals dedicated to the development and evaluation of novel therapies for support of failing organs. ELSO's "Excellence in Life Support" award recognizes extraordinary achievement in promoting the mission, activities and vision of ELSO; patient care using the highest quality measures, processes and structures; and training, education, collaboration and communication that contribute to a healing environment