Daily care: Echocardiography:

  • Patients on V-A ECMO are very dynamic, and their cardiac function is quite labile.
  • At TGH we usually do daily echocardiography on these patients in close collaboration with the heart failure team.
  • Depending on how good the views are, TTE or TEE may be employed.
  • Although there are many parameters to measure on echocardiography, it is very important to assess:
    • The LV size (to ensure there is no overdistension).
    • The LV and RV function.
    • The aortic valve opening.
    • The pericardium.
  • The settings of the ECLS circuit can be adjusted during the echocardiogram to get real time information about the patient's heart (this is known as a "ramp" study).

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