Introduction to Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation

Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is a complex therapy which helps to support patients with severe heart and or lung failure.

The Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU) in conjunction with the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit in Starship Hospital provides a nationwide service. For information on the paediatric ECMO service at Starship Hospital, please follow this link.(external link)

ECMO referrals

Auckland City Hospital CVICU is the national referral center for adult patients requiring ECMO. As part of this service we retrieve patients from around New Zealand and transport them back to CVICU on ECMO.

We welcome discussion from Intensive Care Senior Medical Officers about any adult patient with potentially reversible severe respiratory or cardiac failure.

If you are an Intensive Care Senior Medical Officer and would like to refer an adult patient for ECMO, please call 0800 ADULT ECMO - 0800 23858 3266 and you will automatically be put through to the CVICU on-call consultant.

CVICU manual

To download a copy of the CVICU manual click here. [PDF, 14 MB]

Referring hospitals forms and checklist