OverviewECMO stands for Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation. ECMO is used in infants who are extremely ill due to breathing or heart problems. The ECMO machine circulates blood through an artificial lung back into the bloodstream. This provides adequate oxygen to the baby while allowing time for the lungs and heart to "rest" or heal.
Review Date 2/19/2018
Updated by: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.