Understand Lifesaving Technology

Comprehensive knowledge and understanding of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) can contribute to optimal outcomes for critically ill patients with severe heart and lung failure due to a variety of conditions to include trauma, infection, cardiac arrest, acute respiratory distress syndrome or cardiogenic shock.


Critical care nurses, advanced practice nurses, perfusionists and respiratory therapists who want to develop their understanding of the fundamental principles of ECMO support.

Learning Objectives

Gain the knowledge to effectively and confidently manage various aspects of ECMO.

  • Physiology

  • ECMO Fundamentals

  • ECMO Physiology

  • ECMO Management

  • Describe oxygen delivery parameters
  • Evaluate the effects of manipulating various components of oxygen delivery
  • Identify shock and describe the limitations of clinical and laboratory findings
  • Know the limits of critical care interventions to optimize oxygen delivery and their toxicity
  • Identify specific ECMO components and describe their function
  • Identify ways to monitor ECMO circuit to include pressures, alarms and sensors
  • Establish a systematic approach to identify appropriate patients for ECMO
  • Examine various ECMO cannulation strategies and their rationale
  • Identify characteristics that limit ECMO blood flow
  • Understand the limits of the ECMO membrane
  • Identify causes of hypoxia on VV ECMO, and develop a method to diagnose and manage
  • Recognize patient characteristics that are ideal for VA ECMO
  • Understand the physiology of retrograde flow and its consequences related to VA ECMO
  • Develop a physiologic approach toward titration of blood flow
  • Learn principles of ventilator management for patients on ECMO methods which promote lung protective strategies
  • Explain pharmacokinetics for patients on ECMO and their relevance to medication dosing
  • Understand coagulation principles and their application to anticoagulation and bleeding management

Explore Course Pricing

Learn more about pricing for individuals and institutions, and how to place an order.


Understanding fundamental principles equips you with the tools to navigate the care of your patients on ECMO. The intricate nature of managing these patients highlights the utmost importance of implementing a systematic and integrated approach.

Review Course Syllabus

CE Hours Earned

Up to 8 CE hours of learning for nurses and APPs

Up to 10 CE hours of learning for perfusionists and respiratory therapists

Ready to Purchase?

Whether you want to independently refresh or advance your skill set, or are seeking a solution to assist your unit or organization, we have purchasing options to meet your needs.

Additional AACN Resources

Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) Micro-credential

Validate your specialty knowledge in the delivery of lifesaving ECMO therapy.

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Registered Nurses: The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses is accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

The provider is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider number CEP 1036, for 8 contact hours.

Respiratory Therapists and Perfusionists: Antidote Education Co. is jointly facilitating accreditation for this course. Visit www.ecmocourse.com for accreditation details.

This item is nonrefundable.

Expiration Date: August 1, 2026.