Referrals and Transport

Transporting a patient

When you call our transfer center, an OHSU consult team will assemble within minutes to discuss the case, 24/7. Together, we will quickly make a decision about transfer and begin the process. If ECMO transport will not benefit the patient, we will recommend a treatment course and remain available for consultation.

Respiratory Indications for Treatment

  • Primary or secondary hypoxic respiratory failure with a high mortality risk
  • PaO2/FiO2 <120 with FiO2>90% and PEEP >10 cmH20
  • Severe Hypercapnia (CO2 retention) that is not tolerated by the patient
  • Severe air leak syndromes
  • Need for intubation in a patient active on lung transplant list
  • Immediate respiratory or cardiac collapse
  • Severe obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome
  • Severe influenza
  • Post-traumatic severe pulmonary contusion

Cardiac Indications for Treatment

  • Cardiogenic shock despite traditional treatments (e.g., severe myocardial dysfunction, refractory arrhythmias)
  • Refractory cardiogenic shock requiring cardiac support as a bridge to cardiac recovery, decision-making, destination therapy (e.g., implantable circulatory support such as VAD) & cardiac transplant
  • Heart failure
  • Sepsis
  • Accidental hypothermia

Air & ground transport

In partnership with Life Flight Network, an OHSU physician and nurse will travel to your location by ambulance, helicopter, or airplane. Our goal is to have a team enroute within hours of your phone call. The team will bring a portable ECMO machine and begin therapy immediately, if necessary, before transfer to OHSU. Sometimes a family member may accompany the patient.Once patients arrive at OHSU, we will place them in the ICU dedicated to their primary underlying condition;e.g., respiratory failure in the medical ICU. Our cross-trained ECMO team of physicians and nurses will provide care in the best location for the patient.

Ongoing Communication

ECMO treatment works best with early intervention. We invite you to take advantage of our consultation team's clinical expertise in this field to answer any questions you have. When you transfer a patient to OHSU, we will keep you apprised of all treatment. We can coordinate a back transfer if desired.