Department leads first-ever ECRP training for local EMS providers


Yesterday members from the BerbeeWalsh Department of Emergency Medicine, UW Health Clinical Simulation Program, UW Department of Surgery, ECMO, perfusion and respiratory therapists held the first-ever ECPR (extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation) field activation simulation for Dane County EMS.

Joshua Glazer, MD, who helped bring ECMO/ECPR workflow to UW, helped oversee the training with the UW Simulation Program.

This therapy – extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) – provides a way to temporarily replace the function of the heart and lungs using a portable pump and circuitry hooked up through large blood vessels. ECMO used in a patient in cardiac arrest is considered ECPR.

Local EMS providers are highly skilled at advanced procedures to improve outcomes from cardiac arrest. The ability to assess patients on-scene and activate the ECPR process in partnership with UW Health is yet another tool.

The technology behind ECMO has actually been around for decades now, but only a handful of Emergency Departments across the country are able to offer this life- and brain-saving therapy due to the complex logistics and multi-specialty cooperation. We are proud to offer this critical, life-saving therapy.

Michael Lohmeier, MD, EMS section chief, also helped coordinate the training alongside Erick Pryzbylski from the Sim Program.

The Emergency Department used this life-saving technology nearly one year ago in a remarkable story

A full album of photos from the training can be found here.