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Extracorporeal Life Support (ECLS) programme guidelines version 3

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Intensive & Critical Care


The Extracorporeal Life Support (ECLS) service was established at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children (RHSC), Glasgow in 1992 and was designated as a National Service, funded by National Services Division (NSD), from April 2001. The service provides temporary life support to paediatric patients with cardiac and/or pulmonary failure and is one of four such services in the UK, and the only one in Scotland. The service plays a key role in supporting the national Paediatric Cardiac Surgery Programme.

The purpose of these guidelines is to provide training to individuals in the theory and practice of prolonged ECLS using the Levitronix centrifugal pump system. RHSC specialists will, after appropriate didactic, practical and clinical experience, be competent to independently conduct and manage extracorporeal circulation for pulmonary or cardiac support under the guidance and supervision of an ECLS physician.Prerequisites for the training will include a sound knowledge of basic anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, critical care nursing, and critical respiratory care.

Editorial Information

Last reviewed: 31 August 2015

Next review: 30 November 2023

Author(s): Mark Davidson, Carl Davis, Dave Ellis, Edith Gracie, Fiona Martin, Carlene Sloan, Ida Torrance, Gillian Wylie.

Approved By: Clinical Effectiveness