MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The WVU Heart and Vascular Institute and WVU Medicine Children’s received national recognition for their extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) teams at the annual meeting of the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO), the world’s leading ECMO organization with more than 20,000 users and members from more than 50 countries.
The WVU Heart and Vascular Institute has been designated a Gold Level Center of Excellence, and WVU Medicine Children’s has been designated a Silver Level Center on the Path to Excellence in Life Support. The awards recognize those centers that demonstrate an exceptional commitment to evidence-based processes and quality measures, staff training and continuing education, patient satisfaction, and ongoing clinical care.
ECMO supports patients with failing organ systems. It is one of the most advanced forms of life support available to patients experiencing acute failure of the cardio-respiratory system. It allows time for the patient’s lungs or heart to heal by using a heart-lung machine to oxygenate the blood outside the body over a period of time. The adult and pediatric ECMO programs at the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute and WVU Medicine Children’s are the only ones of their kind in the state.
A designated Center of Excellence has demonstrated extraordinary achievement in the following three categories:
- Excellence in promoting the mission, activities, and vision of ELSO;
- Excellence in patient care by using the highest quality measures, processes, and structures based upon evidence; and
- Excellence in training, education, collaboration, and communication supporting ELSO guidelines that contributes to a healing environment for families, patients, and staff.
This is the third time ELSO has recognized the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute.
“The ECMO Program at the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute has provided thought leadership for the state, most recently throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, during which the Program provided consulting support for more than 70 centers around the country,” J.W. Awori Hayanga, M.D., M.P.H., WVU Heart and Vascular Institute ECMO Program director, said.
“We first received the ELSO Gold Award of Excellence in 2021. Since that time, we have continued to exceed national and international benchmarks for the survival rate of our patients.”
This marks the first time WVU Medicine Children’s has been recognized by ELSO.
“This recognition is further evidence that the children of West Virginia and the surrounding region can receive the world’s most advanced, life-saving medical treatments here at WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital without having to undergo high-risk transportation out of state when they are most ill,” Frank Casey, M.D., medical director of the WVU Medicine Children’s ECMO Program, said.
ELSO is an international non-profit consortium of healthcare centers and individuals who are dedicated to the development, evaluation, and improvement of ECMO and other innovative therapies for support of failing organ systems in the neonate, child, and adult. It is made up of a broad multidisciplinary collaboration of physicians, nurses, perfusionists, respiratory therapists, technicians, researchers, and industry experts. Global chapters of ELSO provide education and expertise in ECMO delivery around the world.
The ELSO Award of Excellence was developed to recognize ECLS Centers that utilize the ELSO Guidelines for ECMO Centers and Training and Education. Additionally, the ECMO Program is reviewed for indicator in Quality, Value of Care, and Benchmarking categories. It was first available for application in 2006.