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Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust
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Critical care and anaesthesia

ECMO and severe respiratory failure service

Royal Brompton Hospital provides ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) for adults. The hospital is one of five centrally funded severe acute respiratory failure centres in England able to offer ECMO.


ECMO oxygenates the blood from outside the body when the lungs are unable to do so. An ECMO machine is similar to the equipment used during a heart-lung bypass operation.


Ventilation equipment is used during ECMO
Royal Brompton's severe respiratory failure and ECMO clinicians provide support to hospitals in the following areas / critical care networks:

  • London north central
  • London north west
  • South west peninsula
  • Avon and Gloucester
  • Thames Valley area of south central

We also take patients requiring ECMO from any of the UK networks should it be required.

The service offers:

  • imaging reviews
  • thoracic surgical input
  • high-frequency oscillation
  • extracorporeal carbon dioxide removal
  • ECMO support

We provide a “24/7” consultant-delivered retrieval service that can provide mobile ECMO when necessary.
ECMO service for adults
In the highly unlikely event that we do not have sufficient capacity to accept a patient, we will find an ECMO bed from one of the other four ECMO centres in England.

Typical patients suitable for ECMO treatment will include: those with reversible disease associated with severe hypoxaemia
(e.g. PaO2/FiO2 < 13.3kPa), severe hypercapnic acidosis (e.g. pH<7.20) despite conventional support.

We are keen to discuss patients in whom adequate arterial blood gases cannot be achieved using lung protective tidal volumes and pressures.

The potential benefits of ECMO as a lung protective strategy diminish after about one week of conventional ventilation at high pressure and high inspired oxygen.


The ECMO team

The team at Royal Brompton Hospital consists of six respiratory consultants:


These ECMO specialists work closely with Anoma Gunawardena (lead nurse for ECMO) and Tim Jackson (chief perfusionist).



How to refer your patient for ECMO

Read about referral criteria for ECMO services.

Read our news story about being commissioned as one of five ECMO centres for adults in England.

Royal Brompton

Sydney Street,
London SW3 6NP
Tel: +44 (0)20 7352 8121

Harefield

ECMO contact details:
Tel: +44 (0)20 7351 8523
Fax: +44 (0)20 7351 8524
Email: ecmo@rbht.nhs.uk


Referrals:
Tel: +44 (0)20 7351 8585


Overview of the ECMO service

Click here to watch a video about referring into the ECMO service