Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Irvine

UC Irvine Previously Published Works bannerUC Irvine

The Southern California Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Consortium During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic.


In March 2020, at the onset of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in the United States, the Southern California Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) Consortium was formed. The consortium included physicians and coordinators from the 4 ECMO centers in San Diego County. Guidelines were created to ensure that ECMO was delivered equitably and in a resource effective manner across the county during the pandemic. A biomedical ethicist reviewed the guidelines to ensure ECMO use would provide maximal community benefit of this limited resource. The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency further incorporated the guidelines into its plans for the allocation of scarce resources. The consortium held weekly video conferences to review countywide ECMO capacity (including census and staffing), share data, and discuss clinical practices and difficult cases. Equipment exchanges between ECMO centers maximized regional capacity. From March 1 to November 30, 2020, consortium participants placed 97 patients on ECMO. No eligible patients were denied ECMO due to lack of resources or capacity. The Southern California ECMO Consortium may serve as a model for other communities seeking to optimize ECMO resources during the current COVID-19 or future pandemics.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View