Beyond Advanced Treatment for Acute Respiratory for Heart Failure


Make an Appointment

To make an appointment, or to speak with someone in cardiac services at Hartford Hospital, please call (860) 545-1888.

Hartford Hospital is one of the few area hospitals to offer ECMO—an amazing procedure that directly oxygenates the blood so damaged hearts and lungs can rest and recover. And we’re the only hospital in New England to offer portable ECMO, so we can even bring this lifesaving technology to other hospitals. Just one more way we’re striving to make more advancements accessible to more people. 

What is ECMO?

For patients with respiratory and/or cardiac failure, time is indeed a matter of life and death. That’s why an innovative procedure known as Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO), is helping to give the human body the time it needs to heal.

ECMO is performed by a machine that provides partial heart-­‐lung bypass for patients with severe, but reversible, respiratory failure and/or cardiac disease for whom other intensive care therapies have failed. ECMO is used only after medicine and a breathing machine (ventilator) have failed to improve the condition of a patient with respiratory failure.

What does ECMO do?

ECMO directly oxygenates and removes carbon dioxide from the blood, acting as a temporary artificial lung or heart outside the body that keeps life-­‐giving oxygen circulating inside the body — which can buy time for the diseased or damaged organs to rest and recover.

How does ECMO work?

When a patient is placed on ECMO, blood will flow through the ECMO tubing, pushed along by the turning motion of the pump, where it receives oxygen from the machine’s lung. This goes on until the heart and/or lungs are able to work on their own.

Portable ECMO

Hartford Hospital is the only hospital in New England currently offering “ECMO-on-the-go” whereby a team of specialists can bring the ECMO technology to another hospital when they have a patient who needs this life-saving technique.