Position article for the use of extracorporeal life support in adult patients

Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2011 Sep;40(3):676-80. doi: 10.1016/j.ejcts.2011.05.011. Epub 2011 Jun 17.


Extracorporeal life support (ECLS) is one of the recent fields in cardiac surgery which has improved significantly the quality of patient care in acute or chronic end-stage heart disease. The safe use of this new technology requires many different prerequisites which are summarized in this position article. It includes the necessary personnel and their qualifications, the structural assumptions, the required equipment, and the parameters which have to be monitored for the safe usage of these devices. In addition, indications and contraindications for ECLS, the management and control of a wide range of parameters related to the extracorporeal circulation, as well as the necessary equipment are described. Quality assurance and education are also described in this position article.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cardiology / education
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation / instrumentation
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation / methods
  • Contraindications
  • Education, Medical, Continuing / methods
  • Extracorporeal Circulation / instrumentation*
  • Extracorporeal Circulation / methods
  • Heart Failure / therapy
  • Heart-Assist Devices
  • Humans
  • Patient Selection
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care