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Introduction to Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation

Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is a complex therapy which helps to support patients with severe heart and or lung failure.

The Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU) in conjunction with the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit in Starship Hospital provides a nationwide service. For information on the paediatric ECMO service at Starship Hospital, please follow this link.()

ECMO referrals

Auckland City Hospital CVICU is the national referral centre for adult patients requiring ECMO. As part of this service we retrieve patients from around New Zealand and transport them back to CVICU on ECMO.

We welcome discussion from Intensive Care Senior Medical Officers about any adult patient with potentially reversible severe respiratory or cardiac failure.

If you are an Intensive Care Senior Medical Officer and would like to refer an adult patient for ECMO, please call 0800 ADULT ECMO - 0800 23858 3266 and you will automatically be put through to the CVICU on-call consultant.

CLICK HERE TO complete the online form

** Please note the online form is NOT compatible with Internet Explorer, use an alternative browser such as Chrome **

If you cannot use the online form, you can complete this downloadable form. [DOC, 289 KB]


CVICU manual

To download a copy of the CVICU manual click here. [PDF, 14 MB]

Referring hospitals forms and checklist

Referring hospital form

Please complete the ECMO referral form and fax to the number specified on the document.

Referring hospital checklist

When a patient is accepted for ECMO, this checklist needs to be completed to assist the referring team with making the appropriate preparations prior to our retrieval team arriving.


The next CVICU ECMO course is taking place on 5-6th of August. 

Click here to find out more.