I think we’ve all received shift report at some point in time and thought, “what support is my patient on exactly?” ECLS terminology shifts from specialist to specialist, physician to physician, and institution to institution. Thanks to The ELSO Maastricht Treaty for ECLS Nomenclature: abbreviations for cannulation configuration in extracorporeal life support, we can all ‘get on the same page’. The consensus was reached by an international consortium of ELSO representatives from North America, Latin America, Europe, South and West Asia, and Asian-Pacific chapters. Nomenclature is structured in four levels; configuration, cannulation site, tip position, and cannula dimension. The position paper then goes on to clarify nomenclature for peripheral cannulation, central cannulation, combined central and peripheral cannulation, and parallel independent devices. Through standardization of nomenclature, I should be able to jump on a flight in Boston, land in Melbourne, Australia, and find that my patient is on Vfl-Afrdt/Vja-Asg and immediately know exactly what support the patient is on. As ECMO configurations and complexity continue to evolve, this standardization of nomenclature only stands to benefit the extracorporeal community by improving communication worldwide.
Submitted by Jeliene LaRocque RRT-NPS, RRT-ACCS