October 24, 2023 | Vadim Gudzenko, MD
The 34th Annual Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO) Conference in Seattle, Washington, from September 28 to October 1, 2023, was the largest ELSO event ever conducted. It was four full days, with 1500+ participants from all over the world—physicians, nurses, perfusionists, respiratory specialists, and other healthcare providers.
The most exciting aspect of this annual meeting is that it is multidisciplinary and involves surgeons, intensivists, cardiologists, pulmonologists, nurses, advanced care providers, perfusionist and respiratory therapists from the adult, pediatric, and neonatal worlds. All these people are on the cutting edge of the developing technology and science behind extracorporeal life support (ECLS) and are eager to share their experiences.
Our multidisciplinary team represented UCLA very well. Several faculty physicians from the UCLA Department of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine—Joseph Meltzer, MD, Marisa Hernandez-Morgan, MD, MPP, MA, Christopher Ortiz, MD, PhD, and Vadim Gudzenko, MD—attended and participated in the conference. Other members of our ECMO team also participated: Weiting Chen, ECMO Coordinator, I. Obi Emeruwa, MD, MBA (Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine), Taline Marcarian, RN, Erica Djen, RN, and Jillian Joslin, RN.
The UCLA team gave several talks and presentations:
- Marisa Hernandez-Morgan, MD, MPP, MA, gave a talk on “When & Where to Cannulate: Field, ED, Cath Lab?” during the “ECPR: Chain of Survival” session.
- Vadim Gudzenko, MD, gave a talk on “Implementation of a City-Wide Program in ECPR: Challenges & Coordination in Pre-Hospital ECMO” during the “ECPR: Chain of Survival” session.
- I. Obi Emeruwa, MD, MBA, gave two talks: “Extubation on ECMO? Opportunities and Risks of Ventilator Liberation” and “Using Microsimulation to Understand Disparities and Mortality in ECMO and ARDS.”
- Weiting Chen, RN, presented a poster on “Characteristics of Elderly Patients Supported by Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO).”
We met with the ELSO Specialist Education in Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (SEECMO) committee and discussed our plans and preparations for the upcoming combined SEECMO and UCLA ECMO symposium that we will host in May 2024.
We also met many ECMO teams from the United States, Asia, Australia, and Europe, as well as several teams from Southern California. It became apparent that the UCLA ECMO team is very well regarded and is practicing at the highest standard of ECMO/ECLS care.
Overall, it was a fantastic experience, and we look forward to representing our team at future national and international ECMO meetings.