Department leads first-ever ECRP training for local EMS providers

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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.