Ongoing study - Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), also known as extracorporeal life support (ECLS), is a temporary, highly specialized life support technique. It is aimed at providing circulatory and/or respiratory support for patients whose heart and / or lungs are temporarily unable to function properly.
ECMO is considered when all conventional intensive care techniques fail, or produce poor results, and patients treated with it, still face high rates of morbidity and mortality.
This study aims at answering five research questions, covering different aspects, including: the clinical effectiveness and safety of ECMO in different indications, factors that may play an important role on the effectiveness and safety (e.g. training, experience, etc); availability and use of this technique in Belgium, current reimbursement and organisation in Belgium compared to other countries; and costs linked to ECMO use.
This analysis should help us to formulate recommendations to the Belgian authorities on reimbursement, use and organisational aspects of ECMO in our country.