Medical Dictionary

extracorporeal life support

noun

Medical Definition of extracorporeal life support

  1. :  life support used when a patient is experiencing cardiac or pulmonary failure unresponsive to conventional therapies (such as mechanical ventilation) that typically involves the continuous extracorporeal oxygenation of blood pumped from the body; especially :  extracorporeal membrane oxygenation Extracorporeal life support (ECLS, also known as extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) is the use of a modified heart-lung machine for days or weeks to support life and permit treatment and recovery during severe cardiac or pulmonary failure.—Robert H. Bartlett et al., The Journal of the American Medical Association, 16 Feb. 2000—abbreviation ECLS


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