Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) Program Recognized as One of the Best in U.S.

Children's Hospital Los Angeles' 1,000th ECMO patient poses with Laura Klee, RN, MSN, ECMO coordinat ...

ECMO Program receives award for its life-saving care of critically ill pediatric cardiac and pulmonary patients

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The Children’s Hospital Los Angeles ECMO Program was named a recipient of the prestigious Award for Excellence in Life Support by the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO), an international body of health care professionals who evaluate hospital treatment therapies for patients fighting complex cardiac disease and respiratory failure. In bestowing the honor, they described Children’s Hospital’s ECMO Program as “extraordinary,” and having “met and exceeded all requirements.”

Children's Hospital Los Angeles' 1,000th ECMO patient poses with Laura Klee, RN, MSN, ECMO coordinator, and Philippe Friedlich, MD, Children's Hospital NICCU medical director and professor of pediatrics & surgery at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. Children's Hospital recently earned the prestigious Award for Excellence in Life Support. (Photo: Business Wire)

“This reflects an incredible level of organizational quality in our ECMO center and puts us at the top of our field,” says Pediatric Surgeon James E. Stein, MD, chief quality Officer, vice chair of Surgery, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. “It recognizes the team effort and our multi-disciplinary approach in the ECMO Program.” Stein also holds the position of director of the hospital’s ECMO Program. “We couldn’t have achieved this level of excellence without this collaboration.”

The Children’s Hospital Los Angeles ECMO Program serves patients in the Neonatal, Pediatric and Cardiac ICU’s. It is one of California’s largest, treating about 40 patients annually and more than 1,036 children in all since the program’s inception in the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in 1987. ECMO requires a high-functioning, multidisciplinary team, including, ECMO specialists at the patient’s bedside, neonatologists, intensivists, surgeons, perfusionists, nurses, respiratory therapists, cardiologists and neuro-radiologists. In addition, the 24-hour availability of a dedicated emergency transport team and the hospital’s blood bank are integral to the team. With the ability to coordinate a wide range of pediatric subspecialists and services under one roof, the ECMO Program can treat the most difficult of cases. “It’s an amazing team of dedicated men and women,” says Laura Klee, RN, MSN, ECMO coordinator.

“ECMO is an incredible technology that has saved countless lives through the support of hundreds of healthcare providers here at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles,” says Philippe Friedlich, MD, Children’s Hospital NICCU medical director and professor of pediatrics & surgery at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. “For the past quarter of a decade, we have worked very hard to provide this level of support. Because of this technology, and our dedicated ECMO team, many children are able to live healthy, normal lives.”

During the recent evaluation, ELSO cited the hospital’s ECMO Program's innovative work in the field, including its anticoagulation, or blood thinning, protocol that balances the prevention of blood clots in the heart-lung bypass machine with minimization of the patient’s risk of bleeding. “The development of the new protocol is an example of how our clinicians collaborate to address complex patient issues and the ECMO team’s commitment to find new ways to improve patient care,” says Lara Nelson, MD.

On behalf of the hospital, the Excellence in Life Support Award was recently accepted by Nelson and fellow ECMO team members Klee and Kim Kyle, RN, at the 23rd annual ELSO conference in Seattle. The organization identifies Extracorporeal Life Support (ECLS) programs worldwide that define themselves by having treatment systems in place to provide excellent and top care in ECMO. ELSO’s purpose is to identify and distinguish Excellence in Life Support programs that reach the highest level of performance, innovation, satisfaction and quality. In California, only three other hospitals currently have the designation.

This award is a high honor, recognized in U.S. News and World Report and Parents Magazine as “one criterion for top institutions,” ELSO officials said, adding, “the service provided by Children’s Hospital Los Angeles’ ECMO center is one that exhibits to the health care community the high level of standards, unique equipment and exceptional education of staff members.”

These program attributes enable the ECMO team to provide outstanding care, a core mission of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. “When ECMO therapy is needed for survival, it’s as critically ill as a child can get,” says Stein. “But if a patient is in a hospital like ours which is considered among the best centers in the world for ECMO therapy, hopefully it gives our parents and families a level of comfort to know that their child is receiving the best care possible.”

About Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Children's Hospital Los Angeles has been named the best children’s hospital in California and among the best in the nation for clinical excellence with its selection to the prestigious US News & World Report Honor Roll. Children’s Hospital is home to The Saban Research Institute, one of the largest and most productive pediatric research facilities in the United States. Children’s Hospital is also one of America's premier teaching hospitals through its affiliation since 1932 with the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California.

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Children's Hospital Los Angeles
Lorenzo Benet, Media relations

Source: Children's Hospital Los Angeles