Seattle Children’s Hospital Gains International Recognition for its Life-Saving ECMO Program

ELSO Award Signifies Commitment to Exceptional Patient Care and Assurance of the Highest Quality Standards in ECMO Support

Seattle Children’s Hospital today announced its Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) Program has received the “Excellence in Life Support Award” from the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO), an international consortium of centers offering ECMO support for failing organ systems in infants, children and adults.

The “Excellence in Life Support Award” recognizes ECMO programs that demonstrate an exceptional commitment to evidence-based processes and quality measures, staff training and continuing education, patient satisfaction, and ongoing clinical research. It signifies a dedication to providing outstanding patient care and an assurance of the highest quality standards in ECMO support.

Seattle Children’s is one of the few hospitals to receive the “Excellence in Life Support Award” since the award’s inception in 2006. The award is ranked among the highest accolades for pediatric ECMO programs and it designates Children’s an ELSO “Center of Excellence” through September 2013. Children’s is the only ELSO “Center of Excellence” in the WAMI region, which includes Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho.

ECMO 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 a patient’s lungs or heart to heal by using a heart-lung machine to oxygenate and purify the blood outside the body over a period of time.

“Children’s is honored to be recognized by ELSO as having one of the best ECMO programs in the world,” said Michael McMullan, MD, director of the ECMO Program at Seattle Children’s. “The award showcases our staff’s commitment to providing the best possible care to improve outcomes for our patients and their families.”

This is the second consecutive ELSO “Excellence in Life Support Award” Children’s has received. Today, the award is recognized as one criterion for top institutions evaluated by U.S. News & World Report and Parents magazine.

Over the past 31 years, more than 550 patients at Seattle Children’s have been on ECMO life support, where the survival rates continue to be among the best in the country.

About Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO)

ELSO is a consortium of health care professionals and scientists dedicated to the development and evaluation of novel therapies for support of failing organ systems. The organization promotes ongoing research into the most effective treatment methods by maintaining a registry of patients receiving extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) and providing educational programs for member centers and the broader medical and lay communities. More than 115 international ECMO centers are members of ELSO, which is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

About Seattle Children’s

Seattle Children’s Hospital, Foundation and Research Institute together deliver superior patient care, advance new discoveries and treatments through pediatric research, and raise funds to create better futures for patients. Consistently ranked as one of the top 10 children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Seattle Children’s Hospital specializes in meeting the unique physical, emotional and developmental needs of children from infancy through young adulthood. Through the collaboration of physicians in nearly 60 pediatric subspecialties, Seattle Children’s Hospital provides inpatient, outpatient, diagnostic, surgical, rehabilitative, behavioral, and emergency and outreach services to families from around the world.

Located in downtown Seattle’s biotech corridor, Seattle Children’s Research Institute is pushing the boundaries of medical research to find cures for pediatric diseases and improve outcomes for children all over the world. Internationally recognized investigators and staff at the research institute are advancing new discoveries in cancer, genetics, immunology, pathology, infectious disease, injury prevention, bioethics and much more.

Seattle Children’s Hospital and Research Foundation and Seattle Children’s Hospital Guild Association work together to gather community support and raise funds for uncompensated care, clinical care and research. The foundation receives nearly 80,000 gifts each year, from lemonade stand proceeds to corporate sponsorships. Seattle Children’s Hospital Guild Association is the largest all-volunteer fundraising network for any hospital in the country, serving as the umbrella organization for 450 groups of people who turn an activity they love into a fundraiser. Support from the foundation and guild association makes it possible for Seattle Children’s care and research teams to improve the health and well-being of all kids.

For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.