Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) ECMO, which stands for Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation, is an advanced form of life support used to treat pediatric patients whose heart and lungs can no longer function. This technology is used as a replacement for the heart and lung in critically ill children. It is also used to support patients who are awaiting surgery, or after surgery when a child's vital organs need time to recover. Housed within our state-of-the-art cardiac intensive care unit, the ECMO Program at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital Heart Institute is committed to supporting critically ill children that come to us from across South Florida. Doctors, nurses and other highly trained medical professionals representing a variety of specialties work together in the effort to provide outstanding ECMO care to our patients. In many cases, ECMO is an important lifesaving surgical and medical treatment. Infants receiving ECMO treatment are monitored by ECMO specialists 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our experienced ECMO specialists are equipped to provide newborn patients with individualized care, monitoring and attention. The program services between 50 and 60 patients with severe respiratory or cardiac problems each year. Since its establishment in 1984, the ECMO Program has supported approximately 1,000 children with minimized complications and survival rates that meet or exceed national averages.