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ECMO Program

Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) is an advanced form of life support used to treat infants, children, and adults in cardiac and/or respiratory failure. The ECMO Program at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center is under the management of the Department of Respiratory Care Services. The Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery provides medical direction. The program maintains a multidisciplinary approach. Patient care is supported by faculty and staff from Adult Critical Care, Pediatric Critical Care, Pediatric Surgery, Respiratory Care, Neonatology, Cardiology, Radiology, and Nursing. 

Dr. Neal Kon, Chair of Cardiothoracic Surgery, explains what ECMO is and how we use it here at Wake Forest Baptist.


Since its inception in January 1996, the ECMO program at WFBMC has cared for over 550 patients. The ECMO team provides extracorporeal life support to neonatal, pediatric, and adult patients with cardiac and/or respiratory failure who are unresponsive to maximal medical therapy as well as patients in acute cardiac failure awaiting transplant or placement of a ventricular assist device.

The WFBMC ECMO program is capable of supporting up to 5 ECMO patients simultaneously. The ECMO team cares for an average of 4 patients per month in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Brenner Children's Hospital and the Adult Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

The WFBMC ECMO program is a member of the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO), an international registry for ECMO Centers. The program has been recognized since 2009 as an ELSO Center of Excellence.

Faculty & Staff


Neal D. Kon, MDKristen A. Zeller, MD  
Neal D. Kon, MD
Chair, Cardiothoracic Surgery
Kristen A. Zeller, MD
Pediatric Surgery   
John K. Petty, MD  Thomas Pranikoff, MD
John K. Petty, MD
Pediatric Surgery  
Thomas Pranikoff, MD
Pediatric Surgery
   Leah Sieren, MD
Leah Sieren, MD     
Pediatric Surgery  
  Scott Copus, BS, RRTBWB  

  Scott Copus, BS, RRT
ECMO Program Coordinator

Barney Barnes, BA, RRT, RPFT
ECMO Specialist Educator


Contact Us

  • For ECMO Consult Services you may call the Physician's Access Line (PAL®) at 800-277-7654 and ask to speak with the ECMO Physician on Call.
  • For general information regarding the ECMO Program you may call 336-713-2894 to speak with the ECMO Program Coordinator.

Information for Parents and Families

Quick Reference

Respiratory Care Services

Administrative Office
Pulmonary Function Lab

8AM-5PM Monday thru Friday
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ECMO Program Recognized as Center of Excellence

ECMO Program Recognized as Center of Excellence

The ECMO Program of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center has received the Excellence in Life Support Award from the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO). This award designates the program as a Center of Excellence.

Last Updated: 07-06-2017
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Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.

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