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UF Health Jacksonville Home

Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)

ECMO Machine

Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is an advanced form of life support that pumps and oxygenates a patient's blood outside the body, allowing the heart and lungs to rest. When connected to an ECMO, the patient’s blood flows through tubing to an artificial lung in the machine that adds oxygen and takes out carbon dioxide; then the blood is warmed to body temperature and pumped back into the body.

Patients must be referred by a physician.

For physicians

When you have reached the limitations of the resources at your facility for a patient you believe can survive, UF Health accepts patient referrals for advanced lung support and ECMO.

We offer multiple advanced lung support treatments, including inhaled pulmonary vasodilators, prone positioning, non-conventional ventilator modes, as well as veno-venous and veno-arterial ECMO. Critical care specialists trained in advanced cardiopulmonary support are on-site, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If you would like to speak with one of our physicians about an interfacility transfer, please call 1-800-223-4878 (1-800-BAD-HURT).

When should you refer a patient for advanced lung support/ECMO?

  • PO2/FiO2 < 80
  • pCO2 rising with pH < 7.25
  • Plateau pressure > 30
  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), severe asthma, flu, aspiration, broncho-pleural fistula

Contraindications to ECMO

  • Non-reversible condition
  • Pre-existing terminal condition with short life expectancy
  • On mechanical ventilation for more than 10 days
  • End-stage liver disease
  • Severe immunosuppression

Follow-up care

If you would like to receive follow-up information about an interfacility transfer, please email

ECMO Coordinator

  • Douglas Kirk, RRT-ACCS, E-AEC

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