The Extracorporeal Life Support (ECLS) service in the Mater Hospital provides comprehensive, short-term support for patients with acute, potentially reversible lung or heart failure. Extracorporeal Life Support (ECLS) can also be known as Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO).

Extracorporeal Life Support (ECLS) service

Our ECLS service is based in the Intensive Care Unit in the hospital and care is provided by intensive care nursing and medical staff with specific ECLS training. Our ECLS service is supported by the departments of cardiothoracic surgery, perfusion and cardiology. The ECLS service at the Mater Hospital began in 2009, when for the first time in Ireland, prolonged ECLS support was used for an adult patient with lung failure.

Excellence in life support

The ECLS service at the Mater Hopistal is formally registered with the Extracorporeal Life Support Organisation (ELSO). ELSO is the internationally recognised organisation for extracorporeal support and is based in University of Michigan, USA. ELSO promotes the highest educational standards for extracorporeal practice and also keeps a worldwide registry of all extracorporeal life support activity for both adults and children.

In 2016, our ECLS service at the Mater Hospital achieved the ELSO Award for 'excellence in life support'. This award recognises ECLS programmes worldwide that reach the highest level of performance, innovation, education and quality, and is testament to the hard work and commitment of all our staff involved in caring for ECLS patients in the intensive care unit.

Hospital referrals

Patients being considered for ECLS in the Mater Hospital may be referred from other hospitals in Ireland. For more information on this, please see our referrals page here.

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