Memorial Hospital
November 12, 2021

JACKSONVILLE, FL – Memorial Hospital Jacksonville will offer Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) starting on Monday, November 15. It treats severe heart or lung failure (or both) that does not respond to usual medical treatment. ECMO does not treat the disease; it supports the body while it heals. The goal of ECMO is to increase oxygen delivery to the body and remove carbon dioxide while the heart and /or lungs recover.

“We have seen an increased need for ECMO during the pandemic and bringing ECMO capability to Memorial is timely for our patients and our community,” said Dale Mueller, MD, cardiothoracic surgeon at Memorial Hospital Jacksonville. “In our ICU, we’ve experienced sicker patients, requiring complex care during the pandemic which has stressed hospitals – ECMO can address the need for those with heart and lung failure.”

There is a shortage of ECMO availability in hospitals nationwide. With Memorial bringing additional resources to meet the shortage demand, it will allow patients to remain closer to their families in Northeast Florida without the need to be transferred to another city for ECMO life support.

Memorial will begin providing ECMO life support in November following the completion of training by its Critical Care and Respiratory teams. “We will continue to build our expertise in ECMO working toward becoming an ECMO center of excellence,” said Dr. Mueller.

COVID-19 has increased the number of patients needing ECMO to avoid further damage to the lungs while a patient recovers. There are two types of ECMO, one that oxygenates and supports the lungs known as Venovenous ECMO or “VV” and the other that supports the heart and lungs known as Venoarterial ECMO or “VA”.

ECMO can only be offered to patients by a physician referral.

Leadership of the new ECMO life support at Memorial will be overseen by cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Mueller, cardiologist Sumant Lamba, MD and critical care director David Rice, MD.

Dr. Mueller

Dr. Lamba

Dr. Rice