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Nemours Holds Intensive ECMO Training Course, First of Its Kind

Friday, Feb 8, 2013

Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington

Mark Ogino, MD

In January, Nemours took a major step forward in clinical acuity and the training of those who provide high risk patient care as our extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) program took the spotlight. Under the direction of Neonatology Division Chief Mark Ogino, MD, an ELSO-sanctioned neonatal and pediatric ECMO training course was held over the course of four days on the Alfred I. duPont Hospital campus.

The Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO) is an international consortium of health care professionals and scientists who are dedicated to the development of novel therapies for support of failing organ systems. Their mission is to promote broad multidisciplinary collaboration, to maintain a registry of the use of ECMO in active ELSO centers, and to provide educational programs for the broader medical community. The neonatal/pediatric course held at our facility was the first such comprehensive non-adult program sanctioned by ELSO.

The program attracted about 50 participants from across the country and as far away as Brazil and Korea. The very successful event was described by Nemours surgeon Kirk Reichard, MD, as “an outstanding course ... one of the best educational activities in which I have ever participated.  It was informative, engaging, entertaining, and covered the topic incredibly well.”

In addition to didactic lectures by best in class experts, attendees  got hands-on training at infant and child simulation stations overseen by Nemours ECMO Coordinators Marc Priest and Chris Beaty as well as seasoned educators from Children’s Healthcare Atlanta/Emory, Mayo Clinic, Cincinnati Children’s, and other prestigious organizations.

Attendees’ comments about the program echoed Dr. Reichard’s:

"The time spent on the simulation was worth every minute. Enjoyed the scenarios and learned a lot ... from great speakers who are experts in the field."

"Really excellent speakers with a huge knowledge base. You want to attend every simulation session and lecture so you won’t miss a thing. The simulation instructors were very knowledgeable, helpful, not intimidating, and encouraged all participants. They made sure there was full participation and we had many opportunities to problem solve, ask questions, and have “hands on” practice."

"This has been a truly amazing course. The initial SIM was overwhelming and nerve-wracking but I now feel I understand so much more and am comfortable with many aspects of ECMO."

Dr. Ogino has been involved in ECMO training for about nine years. “The participants in each course give us outstanding feedback that helps us fine tune the training and make it better each time. Since it is so highly specialized, training opportunities are few and far between. We were pleased to be hosting the first course focused on both the neonatal and pediatric population.”

ELSO is viewed as leading authority in the high risk, high acuity technology-laden field of ECMO, and Dr. Ogino is an internationally recognized expert in ECMO education.

On a related note, the NICU handled a neonatal ECMO case in the same week in January. An infant with meconium aspiration was transported, placed on ECMO to recuperate, and has an excellent prognosis.

“We don’t expect a dramatic increase in ECMO volume immediately, said Dr. Ogino. “What we want to be known for is family-centeredness and excellence in both clinical care and training."

"We expect to continue rolling out sophisticated, high level educational programs that we are always refining to offer the best blend of classroom instruction and hands-on simulation training. A strong educational foundation is the first step in building a program that values outstanding quality and clinical outcomes.”

About Nemours

Nemours is an internationally recognized children's health system that owns and operates the two free-standing children’s hospitals: the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del., and Nemours Children's Hospital in Orlando, Fla., along with outpatient facilities in five states, delivering pediatric primary, specialty and urgent care. Nemours also powers the world’s most-visited website for information on the health of children and teens,, and offers on-demand, online video patient visits through Nemours CareConnect. Nemours is a program dedicated to preventing reading failure in young children, grounded in Nemours’ understanding that child health and learning are inextricably linked, and that reading level is a strong predictor of adult health.

Established as The Nemours Foundation through the legacy and philanthropy of Alfred I. duPont, Nemours provides pediatric clinical care, research, education, advocacy and prevention programs to families in the communities it serves.