Comprehensive, full-service ECMO program in Las Vegas

Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center is home to Nevada’s only comprehensive extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) program, providing treatment for adult and pediatric patients.

Our facility is Nevada’s only Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO) member, the world’s largest directory of ECMO runs and Extracorporeal Life Support centers. ELSO governs and credits ECMO centers around the world, which is why we are proud to have our program distinguished by ELSO’s Pathway to Excellence — Silver Level ranking, exclusive to Nevada.

If you are a hospital or referring provider and want more information about our ECMO program, please contact the Sunrise Transfer Center at (800) 543-7425.

What is ECMO?

ECMO is a life support technology for patients with severe heart and lung issues. At Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center, our technology allows a patient's heart and lungs to heal and recover from any illness, disease and injury the body has sustained. Through an oxygenator, which functions as the heart and lungs, blood is supplied with oxygen and pumped back into the body to help the impaired function.

What conditions may extracorporeal life support help treat?

There are several conditions extracorporeal life support can aid in treating, such as:

  • Adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)
  • Burns (smoke inhalation)
  • Cardiogenic shock
  • Heart attack
  • Respiratory failure
  • Myocarditis
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Sepsis
  • “Bridge” to transplant

What are the advantages of ECMO?

ECMO creates an opportunity for the heart and/or lung to rest.

What are the risks?

Risks Details


Bleeding is common and often due to the fact that patients are on blood thinners.


Infection can occur at the insertion sites or other areas of the body


Stroke can occur from bleeding in the brain or form blood clots.


Swelling of the face, arms and legs (called edema) can occur because of the fluids being given to support your loved one.

Poor blood flow

Poor blood flow to arms and legs can lead to the loss of limb. If cannulas are placed in the patient’s leg, another line is placed to help prevent this, but it may still occur.

Irregular heartbeat

Irregular heart rhythms, called arrhythmias, may occur.

System failure

There could be failure in other body systems, including the liver, kidneys, or gut.

How long can a person be on ECMO?

Anywhere from days to weeks; however, it can be months in rare cases. The team is constantly evaluating the patient’s progress.

Are you awake or mobile on ECMO?

Initially, on ECMO, patients are sedated. When appropriate, our goal is to awaken and mobilize ECMO patients — aiding in their recovery.

Who is on the ECMO team?

Due to the invasive nature of this technology and its demand on patients, ECMO requires a multidisciplinary team throughout the patient’s treatment, including:

  • Doctors and surgeons
  • Nurses
  • Perfusionists
  • Pharmacists
  • Physical therapists
  • Respiratory therapists

Rowena’s story

After giving birth to her child, Rowena contracted COVID-19, was placed on life support and transferred to Sunrise Hospital. Our program and expert team helped her on her road to recovery to get her reunited with her newborn.

Rowena’s success received national attention — view more of her incredible story.

Read Good Morning America coverage

Read Fox news coverage