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UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital is home to a very active ECMO and VAD program. ECMO, which stands for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, is a type of advanced life support that takes over the function of the heart and lungs when these organs are not working properly. It is often used to allow these vital organs time to recover from surgery or infection and also used as a bridge to a ventricular assist device (VAD) or heart transplant.
Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital have been recognized as an ECMO Center of Excellence by ELSO (Extracorporeal Life Support Organization). Ventricular assist devices (VADs) are used for infants and children awaiting heart transplant whose own hearts cannot support them adequately. They are devices that partially or completely perform the function of the failing heart.