Advanced Life Support

Contact Us
Advanced Life Support
Contact Us
Advanced Life Support
Contact Us
Advanced Life Support

Life-Saving Heart and Lung Support for Children

The Nemours Children’s pediatric extracorporeal life support (ECLS) team provides advanced life-saving heart and lung support for critically ill children, from newborns to young adults. Our team is established, experienced and recognized for excellence.

Life support therapies, like ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation), VAD (ventricular assist devices) and others do the work for the heart and/or lungs. We use life support for children with heart or respiratory failure, as a bridge to heart transplant, after surgery, or even in emergencies like during heart attack. 

We offer expert ECLS service at Nemours Children’s Hospitals in Delaware and Florida. Our teams include renowned specialists and researchers in cardiothoracic surgery, critical care, neonatology, pulmonology and respiratory care, emergency medicine and more. We train providers from all over the world to use ECLS at their hospitals. Your child gets our very best, when it matters most. 

In Delaware, we offer ground and air ECMO transport from area facilities. Our surgeons can prepare and stabilize children before transport to our hospital. We’re the only children’s hospital in the region with this advanced capability. 

Expertise You Can Trust

Nemours offers award-winning life support services from specialists who are leaders in their field. Your child is in good hands here.

Mother hugging daughter.

We’re awarded a Silver Pathways to Excellence by the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO) for demonstrated excellence in program organization and training.

We’re researching and looking for new and better ways to support children with heart and lung failure and safer blood thinner medication management during ECMO and VAD therapies.

Our surgeons are experts repairing and restoring the blood vessels used for ECMO when it’s no longer needed. This is critical for long-term health.

Our team provides education and training to providers nationwide. We host annual educational conferences to share the latest developments in ECMO research.

Expertise You Can Trust

Nemours offers award-winning life support services from specialists who are leaders in their field. Your child is in good hands here.

Mother hugging daughter.

We’re recognized as a Gold ECLS Center of Excellence by the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO). This means we offer a level of care you can’t find everywhere. 

Our hospital has Delaware’s only newborn ECMO center. And healthy moms can also deliver their baby here to get immediate care after birth.

We’re the only children’s hospital in Delaware Valley/Greater Philadelphia to offer ECMO transport. This is important when minutes matter.

We’re involved in research and clinical trials to find new and better ways to use ECLS to help kids with critical heart conditions. 

Meet the Team

Nemours advanced life support teams are experienced and focused on your child's healthiest future. Meet them now. 

Programs & Services

We provide family-centered care, which means we include you in your child’s care and communicate openly so you feel supported and nurtured. 

We offer:

  • Integrated, team-based evaluations and therapy planning from experts in multiple specialties
  • Full spectrum of mechanical circulatory support, including ECMO, ECMO transport (in Delaware), VADs (in Delaware) and more
  • Extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation (ECPR), involving teams with specialized training to combine CPR and ECMO during a heart attack
  • Pediatric cardiothoracic surgery and cardiology care from renowned heart centers
  • Expert medical management and critical care from skilled pediatric intensivists, perfusionists, advanced practice providers, nurses, respiratory therapists and others, and cardiac-specific critical care for kids with complex heart conditions
  • Neonatal ECMO for newborns in Level IV NICUs, the highest-level newborn critical care available
  • Coping and mental health support including cardiac psychology therapies for the whole family and a neurodevelopmental program to help your child develop to their highest ability
  • Support services like social work case management, Child Life therapies, pastoral care, nearby Ronald McDonald Houses and more

Conditions & Treatments

We see many conditions — far too many to list here. The conditions we treat vary depending on the location and providers selected. Don’t see a condition listed? Call us.

Care That Goes Beyond Medicine

When your family comes to Nemours, you’re well cared for. We want you to understand your child’s condition and how to help them stay healthy and succeed. We help you find community resources for your family. We also offer many supportive services, like social work, lodging at nearby Ronald McDonald Houses, creative therapies, pet therapy, Child Life programs and much more.

Hearing, communication specialist  interacting with a female child
A young student plays with blocks and gives a high-five to a young female teacher.

Empowering You to Care for Your Child at Home

The Nemours inpatient heart care team helps you prepare for and manage your child’s care at home. We make sure you have everything you need, including training on devices, equipment and medicines before you leave.