Cohen Children’s Medical Center Is Named an ECMO Center of Excellence

NEW HYDE PARK, NY – The Cohen Children’s Medical Center announced today that the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO) has once again recognized its Pediatric Intensive Care Unit’s continued success in treating patients with respiratory/cardiac failure by naming it an Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) Center of Excellence.

Cohen was first named an ECMO Center of Excellence in 2011.  The current recognition is a three-year designation that runs through 2016.

ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation), a procedure in which a machine takes over the work of the lungs and sometimes the heart, is used for babies, children and adults.   In membrane oxygenation, the ECMO machine returns oxygen to the blood and removes carbon dioxide---functioning just as healthy lungs do.

The goal of ECMO is to ensure that the patient’s body has enough oxygen, thereby allowing the failing organs to rest and recover. When the heart or the lungs have healed and can work on their own, the patient is gradually weaned off the ECMO machine. Patients with severe but reversible heart or lung disorders that have not responded to such treatments as mechanical ventilation, medications and oxygen therapy are candidates for ECMO.

The ELSO designation recognizes institutions that distinguish themselves by having processes, procedures and systems in place that promote exceptional care in extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. A designated Center of Excellence has demonstrated extraordinary achievement in three categories: excellence in promoting the mission, activities and vision of ELSO; excellence in patient care by using the highest quality measures, processes, and structures based upon evidence; and, excellence in training, education, collaboration, and communication that supports ELSO guidelines and contributes to a healing environment.

“Cohen Children’s Medical Center is the only hospital on Long Island to offer ECMO to infants and children who would likely otherwise die from severe lung and/or heart disease,” said Peter Silver, MD, Chief, Pediatric Critical Care Medicine and Associate Chairman, Department of Pediatrics at Cohen. “To be recognized again by ELSO as an ECMO Center of Excellence is a tribute to all of our staff who tirelessly care for our sickest pediatric patients.”

Todd Sweberg, MD, Medical Director of the ECMO program at Cohen, added, “The ELSO Center of Excellence designation, awarded to only a select group of institutions across the country, represents an ongoing commitment to the highest levels of care, patient safety and quality improvement for our sickest patients. The entire ECMO team, including our ECMO nursing specialists and physicians across multiple specialties, as well as ancillary staff, work together to ensure that the high standards of care this award represents are delivered on a daily basis.”




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