Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation credentialing: Where do we stand?

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27 Scopus citations


Background No guidelines exist for credentialing extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) physicians despite variable training backgrounds. We aim to identify national patterns of institutional credentialing for ECMO physicians. Methods Program directors from 173 US ECMO centers were surveyed regarding credentialing, recertification, training elements, and barriers. Results Response rate was 42% (73/173). ECMO credentialing for physicians was required in 66% of responding ECMO centers. Only 57% reported an established institutional ECMO credentialing program. Yearly recertification was required in 16%. Common elements included didactic courses (90%), simulation (73%), and proctored cases (68%). Lack of standardization for credentialing (36%) and too little time (36%) were major barriers to program establishment. No differences were found between small- and large-volume centers with respect to credentialing or recertification. Conclusions Not all physicians managing ECMO are credentialed and only about half of US centers have established credentialing programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)655-660.e2
JournalAmerican journal of surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Credentialing
  • Extracorporeal life support
  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation
  • Guidelines
  • Standardization


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