The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has issued full guidance to the NHS in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation for severe acute respiratory failure in adults.

It replaces the previous guidance on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in adults (NICE interventional procedures guidance 39, January 2004).  


Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is a temporary life support technique, used to treat respiratory failure (where the lungs do not work effectively) in critically ill patients. The aim is to increase oxygen levels in the blood. During the procedure, a tube carries blood from the right side of the heart then pumps it through an artificial lung where it picks up oxygen. This oxygen-rich blood is then passed back into the person’s blood system.

Coding recommendations

X58.1 Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation

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