Hospital Rounds

Friday, October 4, 2019

Methodist Hospital’s ECMO Program Receives National Acclaim: South Texas’ Only Private Heart Lung Lifesaving Program

Methodist Hospital’s ECMO Program recently received the ELSO Gold Level Center of Excellence Award — the most prestigious designation in critical care by the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization. The Excellence in Life Support Award recognizes those centers that demonstrate an exceptional commitment to evidence-based processes and quality measures, staff training and continuing education, patient satisfaction, and ongoing clinical care.

Methodist Hospital’s Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) program is one of the most advanced forms of life support available to patients experiencing acute failure of the cardio-respiratory system. The treatment supplies oxygen in the patient’s blood and helps pump the blood back into the body. A pump circulates blood through a circuit of tubing supporting heart function and through an oxygenator, which functions as an artificial lung. The ECMO program helps patients of all ages with life-threatening diseases that impair heart and lung function.

“When I started the ECMO program, the goal was to provide a comprehensive approach to patients with cardiac shock and critical life support in order to bridge the gap between urgency of care and long-term solution for these patients, such as heart transplant and ventricular assist devices,” says Chandra Kunavarapu, MD. “We have achieved that through the ECMO program and have saved over 100 lives in the past six years. I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved and the amazingly dedicated and passionate team behind this program.”

Methodist Hospital is among the top 12% of National and International ECLS centers to receive the Excellence in Life Support Award for the 2018–2019 award period.

“I am extremely proud of our team for the effort put towards achieving this award,” says Jeffrey DellaVolpe, MD. “This Gold Level Center of Excellence designation is really a recognition of all the hard work and dedication put into this program every day by the entire team. From the coordinators to the physical therapists to the specialists to the perfusionists, the contributions of every member of this team are what has allowed us to build a truly world-class ECMO program capable of taking exemplary care of our patients.”

ELSO is an international consortium of healthcare professionals and scientists dedicated to the development and evaluation of new therapies for supporting failing organ systems. The goal of the ELSO Award is to recognize and honor ECLS programs that reach the highest level of performance, innovation, satisfaction and quality and is a framework for integrating total quality principles in ECLS programs worldwide.