Updated 12 March 2024


ECMO is extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, also known as ECLS (extracorporeal life support).

The Alfred ICU has provided ECMO care since 1990 and now provides ECMO support for more than 100 patients per year.

An ECMO Clinical Service, independent from Perfusion Services, was established in 2003 to improve ECMO delivery and bedside care. The philosophy of the ECMO Clinical Service is that ECMO is best provided as an integrated Intensive Care patient support modality. Training programs, competency maintenance, credentialing requirements, protocols, preventative strategies and consultative Perfusion Service input are components of our integrated ECMO Service. The ECMO service is actively involved in ongoing research as well. The development of this service has led to the Alfred ICU becoming, at that time, one of only five recipients of the ELSO Platinum level Centre of Excellence designation and the only such centre outside of the United States.

Alfred ICU ECMO Guidelines

ECMO.ICU – Alfred ICU ECMO guidelines available as a free-to-access website.

ECMO Education at the Alfred ICU

Twice a year, the Alfred ICU runs the Alfred ICU and Perfusion Adult ECMO Course as well as a Cannulation course, both of which are open to external participants.

Senior Registrars and Fellows at the Alfred ICU have the opportunity to complete the ‘Alfred ICU ECMO Certificate‘, which requires sufficient clinical exposure, attendance at didactic and simulation-based teaching sessions, contribution to the education programme and completion of the Alfred ICU and Perfusion Adult ECMO Course.

ECMO cases, issues and developments are discussed at the monthly ECMO Special Interest Group meeting and regular inter-professional, inter-departmental ECPR simulations are performed.

Introduction to ECMO for New ICU Staff

  • Intro to ECMO for New ICU Staff by Ken Hoffman is the best place to start if you are new to ECMO. It includes for 4 short videos: Part 1 is on nomenclature and components of ECMO, Part 2 is on V-V (veno-venous) ECMO, Part 3 is on V-A (veno-arterial) ECMO and the final video, Part 4 addresses ECPR (ECMO-CPR during cardiac arrest).

ECMO on the INTENSIVE Podcast

The ‘Everything ECMO’ series

This is a developing series of peer-reviewed case-based Q&A blog posts published on INTENSIVE covering all aspects of ECMO management in critically ill patients.


The Alfred ECMO Service is among the pioneers of ECPR. ECPR content on INTENSIVE includes: