Center for Extracorporeal Life Support

Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) is a form of partial cardiopulmonary bypass at the bedside which uses a pump and artificial lung to function as the heart and lungs during the healing process from various injuries. The George Washington University Hospital team of experts identifies patients that may benefit from the use of this advanced treatment. Some of our successes include patients suffering from pneumonia, flu, blood clots in the lungs (pulmonary embolism), heart failure and trauma.

The ECMO team at GW Hospital is comprised of a multidisciplinary group of medical professionals. Surgeons, intensive care providers, perfusionists (who maintain the ECMO circuits) ECMO coordinator, midlevel providers, nurses, rehabilitation therapists, respiratory therapists, and dietitians work together to deliver the highest quality care. Our program functions with a team approach to benefit all aspects of patient and family centered care.

Our team of professionals have partnered with community hospitals to act as their lifeline for the patients with severe heart and lung illnesses. GW Hospital has a mobile cannulation/ transport team to initiate ECMO in outside hospitals, stabilize, and transport the patient back to the hospital.

With just one phone call to our One Call Center (1-855-SEND-2-GW), a member of the treatment team can be reached immediately to answer questions or initiate a transfer.

Using ECMO to Treat COVID-19 Patients

Dr. Farzad Najam, Chief of Cardiac Surgery, and Dr. Elizabeth Pocock, Cardiac Surgeon, discuss Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO)​ technology and its use for treating critically ill COVID-19 patients at GW Hospital.

Patient Stories

Hear from patients who had ECMO treatment at GW Hospital →