Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital Pediatric ECMO Program earns national award

Program recognized as on the path to excellence in life support achieving the Silver Level ELSO Award for 2023-2025

The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital (BMSCH) at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital’s Pediatric ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation) Program has been recognized as on the Path to Excellence in Life Support, achieving the Silver Level ELSO (Extracorporeal Life Support Organization) Award for 2023-2025.

The ELSO Excellence in Life Support Award recognizes centers that demonstrate an exceptional commitment to evidence-based processes and quality measures, staff training, continuing education, patient satisfaction and ongoing clinical care. ELSO is an international non-profit consortium of health care centers and individuals who are dedicated to the development, evaluation and improvement of ECMO and other innovative therapies for the support of failing organ systems in the neonate, child and adult.

“We are honored to be the recipient of such a prestigious award recognizing our program’s dedication to providing the most advanced, highest-quality life support care for our most vulnerable neonates and children,” Dr. Jennifer Owensby, medical director of BMSCH’s ECMO Program and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School said. “Earning this award is deeply gratifying because it affirms our commitment to education, evaluation and the development of this technology so that we can give children and families the best possible chance for successful outcomes and an opportunity to lead healthy and active lives.”

“ECMO is a perfect example of a highly specialized, advanced capability that is available at only a small number of academic medical centers in our state and region,” Yi-Horng Lee, chief, Pediatric Surgery, BMSCH and chief, Division of Pediatric Surgery, Associate Professor of Surgery, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School said. “We’re proud that our team has earned this recognition, which is testament to their commitment to training, education and providing the highest quality care to ensure the best possible outcomes for our patients and families.”

ECMO is a treatment for serious problems with the heart and or lungs. The specialized cardiopulmonary bypass system is used when a patient’s heart or lungs are too sick to continue supporting a patient’s life and all other treatments that could help have been attempted. The ECMO pump adds oxygen and removes carbon dioxide from the blood just as the lungs do. BMSCH is one of only two hospitals in the state that provide ECMO, which is considered quaternary care for the most critically ill children.

BMSCH’s ECMO Team provides expert care to patients ranging from newborns through 21 years of age. Using a family-centered care model, BMSCH physicians can rapidly evaluate a patient’s need for ECMO in consultation with referring physicians for transfer to BMSCH. The ECMO team is available 24/7 for consultation.