Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is a life support technique capable of supporting pulmonary, cardiac, or cardiopulmonary function. It has proved most successful in neonatal respiratory failure. We report the initial UK experience with a survival rate of 80% in 15 neonates (gestations 36-41 weeks, birth weights 2690-3990 g) whose condition exceeded American criteria for ECMO treatment for a prolonged period before referral. Ages at referral varied from 11 to 240 hours and the duration of bypass required varied from 30 to 240 hours respectively.
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