The ECMO Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) has received the “Platinum Level ELSO Award for Excellence in Life Support” from the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO), an international consortium of centers offering ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) for support of failing organ systems in infants, children and adults.

ELSO awardCHOP’s ECMO Center has been recognized as an ELSO Center of Excellence since 2008. The Platinum Level is the highest awarded honor, and is rarely achieved by ELSO member institutions, especially pediatric centers.

“This is the result of an extensive application process and peer-committee review of our ECMO Center, and a true testament to the multidisciplinary group that provides ECMO support to infants, children and adults across our enterprise,” says Todd Kilbaugh, MD, Medical Director of the ECMO Center.

The ECMO Center at CHOP is the only ECMO center in our region designated by ELSO as a Platinum Center of Excellence, and is one of the most active in the country. It has supported more than 1,300 patients since it was established in 1990. The program’s multidisciplinary team is comprised of pediatric surgeons, neonatologists, intensivists, anesthesiologists, perfusionists, specially trained nurses and respiratory therapists.

ECMO is a treatment used for patients with life-threatening circulatory or respiratory failure. It provides breathing and heart support to patients for days to weeks while doctors treat their underlying illness.

The designation as a Center of Excellence in Life Support recognizes ECMO programs worldwide that distinguish themselves by having processes, procedures and systems in place that promote excellence and exceptional care in extracorporeal life support.

“The ELSO Award signifies to patients and families a commitment to exceptional patient care,” says James Connelly, BS, RRT-NPS, Manager of the ECMO Center. “It also demonstrates to the healthcare community an assurance of high-quality standards, specialized equipment and supplies, defined patient protocols, and advanced education of all staff members.”

Learn more about CHOP’s ECMO Center.


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