Can Ambulatory ECMO save your program money?
A recent article in Respiratory Care indicates Ambulatory ECMO saves money. According to the abstract, a single center produced a 73% reduction in post lung transplant ICU cost and a 22% reduction in overall hospital cost.
Walking ECMO patients is becoming more and more popular as cost savings and improved outcomes are being reported. But how do you safely ambulate a patient on ECMO? Which patients do you chose to ambulate? Do you have policies and procedures in place to ambulate the appropriate ECMO patients? Do you have the right tools to help you safely ambulate ECMO patients? Has your institution properly trained staff to safely ambulate ECMO patients?
There are a couple of companies marketing devices to help improve the ease and safety of ambulation for the ICU patient. Livengood is one.
Clinical Advantage Group is another. I am sure there are others out there. As the experiences ambulating ECMO patients increase I am sure we will hear more about this. If your program is ambulating ECMO patients please share your experiences!