Sometimes our littlest heart heroes need extraordinary help in order to survive. One of the most extraordinary machines used to save our babies born with congenital heart defects is known as ECMO which stands for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. This is a special machine that takes blood from the body, oxygenates it using an artificial lung, and pumps it back into the body using an artificial heart. ECMO is similar to a heart/lung bypass machine used in open heart surgery, but can be used for a longer time.
Twenty years ago, when my son was just a baby, all of the babies I knew who were put on ECMO passed away. But like with so many types of new technology, things have changes and improved over the year. Now being put on ECMO doesn't have to be a death sentence. Today's show will feature three mothers whose children have been put on ECMO and survived. Hear about their experiences and what they feel other parents need to know on today's show.