Skip to main content
Unit of study_

CRIT5015: Extracorporeal Life Support

Extracorporeal Life Support (ECLS) is a rapidly developing field with applications in prehospital and retrieval medicine, emergency medicine, anaesthesia and intensive care. It has an expanding set of indications including cardiac arrest, cardiogenic shock, severe respiratory failure and organ support for high-risk procedures. Students will gain an understanding of extracorporeal support modalities including extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), extracorporeal CO2 removal (ECCO2R), ventricular assist devices (VAD) and Impella. The learning modules will introduce essential aspects of the management of ECLS patients including common indications, contraindications, ECLS physiology and technology. A compulsory face-to-face workshop will provide hands on familiarisation with ECLS equipment, procedures and troubleshooting.

Code CRIT5015
Academic unit Critical Care
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge:
This unit of study is only available to medical graduates.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. Explain the rationale for various ECLS modalities and their effects on human physiology
  • LO2. Appropriately identify patients failing conventional respiratory or cardiovascular support who may benefit from ECLS
  • LO3. Describe components of extracorporeal circuits including pumps, oxygenators and cannulas including their safety features and limitations
  • LO4. Manipulate user-controlled variables an ECMO console and predict the physiological consequences of the resulting changes
  • LO5. Interpret ventilator data, including ventilator waveforms
  • LO6. Analyse common ECMO troubleshooting scenarios
  • LO7. Apply evidence-based solutions to routine and complex patient care scenarios requiring ECLS
  • LO8. Correctly apply strategies to minimise complications and maximise effectiveness from ECLS
  • LO9. Understand the principles for weaning various forms of ECLS

Unit outlines

Unit outlines will be available 1 week before the first day of teaching for the relevant session.