University of South Florida

USF Health, TGH teams train on ECMO, prepare for expanded use in future

Faculty and clinical staff from both USF Health and Tampa General Hospital learned the nuances and best practices of ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) at a special course held on the TGH campus last month.

The recent ECMO course provided the newest information associated with the life-saving procedure and was led by Kapil Patel, MD, associate professor and director of the USF Health Center for Advanced Lung Disease in the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and director of the TGH Lung Transplant Program, and M Raheel Qureshi, MD, assistant professor and associate medical director of the ECMO program in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine in the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, and associate director of the Lung Transplant Program at Tampa General Hospital.

ECMO is used in critical care situations, when the heart and lungs need help as the patient heals. In ECMO, blood is pumped outside of the body to a heart-lung machine that removes carbon dioxide and sends oxygen-filled blood back to tissues in the body. Blood flows from the right side of the heart to the membrane oxygenator in the heart-lung machine, and then is rewarmed and sent back to the body.

This method allows the blood to “bypass” the heart and lungs, allowing these organs to rest and heal.

Many providers and hospitals around the world saw an uptick in patients needing ECMO as part of the COVID-19 care they received in intensive care units. Now, as COVID continues to subside, expanding training on ECMO better prepares health care teams and hospitals if another surge of COVID – or other related viruses – take hold.

Published studies show that hospitals and facilities with more ECMO experience have better outcomes. ECMO is complex in its execution, requiring trained staff and specialist equipment, making the USF Health/TGH training course a critical part of preparation for another COVID surge or pandemic.

Health care providers across the country learned very quickly during the pandemic that ECMO could save lives and it was used largely in patients with COVID-19 with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Published studies show importance of carefully selecting patients for a critical care treatment requiring intense staffing, specialized equipment and advanced expertise.

The USF Health/TGH training sessions mean that more providers are prepared to treat patients sooner with ECMO and improve outcomes.

Photos by Freddie Coleman and Ryan Rossy, USF Health Communications



Network-wide options by YD - Freelance Wordpress Developer