Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) Nursing
ECMO is used to support the heart and/or lung functions of critically ill patients with cardiopulmonary failure. With ECMO, it can lead to organ recovery or replacement.
National University Hospital (NUH) started the ECMO programme in 2004. In 2011, we are the first hospital in Singapore to join as a member of Extracorporeal Life Support Organisation (ELSO), an international non-profit consortium of healthcare institutions, researchers and industry partners.
Regular ECMO training workshop is carried out to train NUH Cardiothoracic and Paediatric Intensive Care Units nurses. The training workshop includes hands-on, with particular focus on the technical knowledge and skills required for the bedside management of the ECMO patient. The workshop conducted in NUH is one of the ELSO-accredited training workshops in Asia. NUH nurses undergo annual re-credentialing in the form of hands-on retraining, followed by a practical examination / assessment. Currently there are more than 60% of ECMO-trained nurses in NUH.
A Nursing representative from NUH sits on the National ECMO Standing Committee, which was formed by Ministry of Health (MOH). Her role includes overseeing and making recommendations about ECMO in Singapore.