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.
Copyright © 2011 European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.