HomeNewsArticle Display

Medical staff celebrates advances in ECMO

Dr. Donald Null, Extra-Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation staff, demonstrates the use of a first-generation ECMO cart. Today, ECMO carts are considered third-generation and are capable of serving adults with more modern and advanced equipment. (Courtesy photo/Released)

Dr. Donald Null shows a first-generation extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation cart. Today, ECMO carts have been upgraded and with more modern and advanced equipment, newer third-generation carts are capable of serving adults as well as infants. At the time this photo was taken, Dr. Null was a member of the ECMO staff at Wilford Hall Medical Center at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. (File photo)

An Extra-Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation team loads a third-generation ECMO cart into an ambulance. The third-generation model is the most current model being used today, and is capable of serving adults. (Courtesy photo/Released)

An extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation team loads a third-generation ECMO cart into an ambulance. The third-generation model is the most current model being used today, and is capable of serving adults as well as infants. (Courtesy photo)

The Wilford Hall Medical Center's extra corporeal membrane oxygenation team stabilizes the infant on the ECMO transport cart in the neonatal intensive care unit at Kapiolani Medical Center in Honolulu July 22. The ECMO team flew to Hawaii to transport the critically ill infant to Rady Children's Hospital in California for advanced medical treatment. Left to right, NICU Respiratory Therapist Airman 1st Class Andrew Pamintuan, 59th Medical Operations Squadron, senior ECMO coordinator Cheryl Collicott, 59th Medical Inpatient Squadron, Neonatal Fellow Capt. (Dr.) Jennifer Pirato, 59th Maternal/Child Care Squadron, Nurses Aida Yumol, Bernadette Elliott, 59th MDIS, Maj. (Dr.) Melissa Tyree, 59th MCCS, Nurse Capt. Terry Bailey, 59th MDIS. (U.S. Air Force photo/Maj. Kreangkai Tyree)

An extra corporeal membrane oxygenation team from Wilford Hall Medical Center at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, cares for a critically ill infant about to be transported from Hawaii to San Diego in an ECMO cart where the infant will receive advanced medical care to replace a shunt in her heart. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Maj. Kreangkai Tyree)

Airman 1st Class Andrew Pamintuan suctions the infant's endotracheal tube on the Wilford Hall Medical Center's extra corporeal membrane oxygenation transport cart in the neonatal intensive care unit at the Kapiolani Medical Center in Honolulu July 22. The ECMO team was needed to transport the critically ill infant to California for advanced medical treatment. Airman Pamintuan is a neonatal intensive care unit respiratory therapist assigned to the 59th Medical Operations Squadron. (U. S. Air Force photo/Maj. Kreangkai Tyree)

An extra corporeal membrane oxygenation team from Wilford Hall Medical Center at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, cares for a critically ill infant about to be transported from Hawaii to San Diego in an ECMO cart where the infant will receive advanced medical care to replace a shunt in her heart. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Maj. Kreangkai Tyree)

LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, Texas (AFNS) -- The year 2010 marks the 25th anniversary of the 59th Medical wing staff conducting extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation missions.

ECMO is a machine that provides cardiac and respiratory support primarily to infants and children whose hearts and lungs are so severely diseased or damaged that they can no longer serve their function.

Wilford Hall Medical Center officials provide the only long-distance ECMO transport option in the world.

There have been 187 patients treated to date, with 76 requiring transport on ECMO. The number of requests for transport on ECMO has increased in the past five years, with an average transport distance of more than 1,000 miles.

While ECMO is primarily focused on infants and children, a new venture to provide ECMO for adult trauma patients is underway.

"My primary goal is to expand the capabilities of the current neonatal/pediatric ECMO program so that we can offer ECMO to combat casualties who are failing ventilator support," said Lt. Col. (Dr.) Jeremy Cannon, the medical co-director of the surgical intensive care unit at Brooke Army Medical Center.

"ECMO was initially done 30 years ago in adults but it was not very successful; today we have better knowledge, improved skills and technology," said Lt. Col. (Dr.) Susan Doltzer, the ECMO director.

According to Heather Campbell, an ECMO coordinator, the intent is to eventually offer adult ECMO services at BAMC for trauma patients who may benefit.
"We also will be training some of the adult trauma physicians and staff in ECMO for a new research protocol they will be implementing at BAMC," Ms. Campbell said.

The first adult patient put on an ECMO circuit at Wilford Hall was Airman Paige Villers. Airman Villers caught the adenovirus, locally known as "boot camp flu." She had a rare strain more common to Russia and Eastern Europe. It took a team of more than 125 staff members approximately three months to treat Airman Villers.

ECMO has come a long way over the years, said Cheryl Collicott, a senior ECMO coordinator, who served on the first ECMO mission as an active-duty member.

"It was cool to see the transformation of ECMO over the years from the very simplistic first generation little green litter strapped to a cart, to our third-generation version with all the advanced equipment."

Engage

Facebook Twitter
RT @AETCommand: BIG change to the @usairforce's special warfare recruiting & initial training pipeline aimed at ensuring enlisted recruits…
This HGU-55/P helmet is fitted with a Hybrid Optical-based Inertial Tracker and day visor at Moody Air Force Base,… https://t.co/rMzsO03MLL
BRRRRRRTT The @A10DemoTeam travels the world showcasing the unique capabilities of the Thunderbolt II. The… https://t.co/giQWIwD0rA
Congratulations to @388fw and @419fw for reaching "full warfighting capability" with the F-35A Lightning II ✈️… https://t.co/5BwOupKSU7
Easy like Sunday morning. https://t.co/7Yp9fKDHnn
Congratulations to Air Force Civil Engineer Tim Sullivan, who was named the 2020 Federal Engineer of the Year! 🎉… https://t.co/tIafy8KqKs
Did you know anxiety and depression are invisible wound conditions that can affect our Airmen? They can manifest in… https://t.co/7TJn1CICbh
Airmen practice joint close air support during exercise Cope North 20 to improve combat readiness, develop integrat… https://t.co/GLpsJAlvCx
RT @inspire_af_: The @usairforce understands the importance of innovation, and @AETCommand is continuing to move towards student-centered l…
RT @AirmanMagazine: These @usairforce U-2 pilots fly at 70,000 ft, where they provide vital reconnaissance for U.S. combatant commanders.…
Spouses, family members, & caregivers are a vital part of the #AirForce family. They take care of us & we must take… https://t.co/ayzETFm5M1
The Air Force Gunsmith Shop recently released a redesigned M4 Carbine that will fit in most ejection seats. This Ai… https://t.co/f4UPJLlPxp
RT @AETCommand: Innovating in your everyday environment doesn't always lend itself to creativity! Check out the Spark Cell space at Altus…
.@USAFCENT Airmen refuel a KC-135 with a Force system in Southwest Asia. This new capability provides more efficien… https://t.co/fA2OARRUqj
RT @ArmedwScience: Civil engineering is a key part of a deployed environment. Listen as this airman explains the civil engineering capabili…
WATCH: @SecAFOfficial joins @SecArmy and @SECNAV for a discussion with @CSIS on the state of the services, defense… https://t.co/Vfk09EMBdP
Congratulations Capt Lockridge. #AimHigh https://t.co/fcJQi1vsFO
.@ABCSharkTank, anyone? The Air Force Spark Tank announced its 2020 selectees. 6 Airmen were selected to present… https://t.co/5aoPxZ2OTF
Capt Jessica Knizel was the first of 10 Air Force Aerospace Nurse Practitioners. To meet the qualifications, Kniz… https://t.co/hu2WXp8i8z