Dear Family Members and Friends
Welcome to the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO) Family Education Website. Having a loved one in the intensive care unit can be a very difficult and a stressful time for you and your family. You have been directed to this website because your loved one is very sick and needs extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) support. We know that the hospital environment, machines, and words we say may be strange and unknown to you, which can make things even more stressful. For this reason, ELSO has created this family and friends education website in the hope that providing you with information about your family member/friend's treatment and answering some important questions about ECMO may ease a small amount of this stress.
Please realize that the day-to-day routine may be slightly different in each hospital. However, we feel the information provided on this website is a common ground for all ECMO centers. We do encourage you to ask questions of your specific ECMO team when further details are needed to reinforce your understanding of the treatment your loved one is receiving. Your ECMO program may also have an education website you can refer to. Regardless of where your loved one is being treated, we are certain the physicians and staff involved feel very privileged to be trusted with the care they provide. It is our hope that this information will be helpful in making a stressful situation a little less so.
The ELSO Education and Logistics Committee