Critical Care Medicine

Medical Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) Program

The multidisciplinary Medical Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) team is a collaboration between the Cleveland Clinic’s Heart, Vascular and Thoracic Institute, Anesthesia Institute, and Respiratory Institute. The goal is to provide care to patients with life-threatening cardio-respiratory failure in whom conventional ventilatory and adjunctive medical therapies were unsuccessful. The medical ECMO team provides expertise in veno-venous ECMO. The program provides 24/7 interdisciplinary consultation for the triage of complex referrals for ECMO transfer eligibility (local, regional, national, and international). ECMO survivors are followed up in a post- ECMO outpatient clinic to address physical, cognitive, and psychosomatic impairments.

Veno-Venous Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Mortality (ECMO)

2019 – 2022

ECMO = extracorporeal membrane oxygenation

The graph above represents veno-venous ECMO runs since 2019.* The increase in 2021 volume and mortality reflects the increase in COVID-19 patients on ECMO.

*An ECMO run is an episode where a patient received ECMO. Some patients have more than one.

Veno-Venous Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Outcomes


The graph below represents the primary diagnosis of patients receiving veno-venous ECMO in 2022.

ARDS = acute respiratory distress syndrome, BTT = bridge to transplant (COVID-19-related), ECMO = extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, ILD = interstitial lung disease, VV ECMO = veno-venous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation

Of the patients that underwent VV ECMO in 2022 the department had 76 runs.* The information presented here lists the primary reasons the patients were placed on VV ECMO.

*An ECMO run is an episode where a patient received ECMO. Some patients have more than one.


Cleveland Clinic Respiratory Institute hosts podcasts available on Apple, Google, Soundcloud and Spotify. Click on the link below to find and listen to ‘ECMO’ hosted by Eduardo Mireles-Cabodevila, MD, FCCM, Director of the Critical Care Medicine Department at Cleveland Clinic Main Campus, with guest Sudhir Krishnan, MD, MRCPUK, Director of the Medical ECMO Program and Director of the Acute Respiratory Care Unit.

Respiratory Inspirations. Suitable for any audience interested in learning more about conditions affecting your respiratory health as we discuss related diseases, causes, treatments, innovations and what the future may bring. Visit: