Life support

Geisinger Medical Center honored for life support

Danville, Pa. – The Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO) awarded Geisinger Medical Center the Gold Level Center of Excellence Award for Critical Care. The medical center was one of 54 recognized hospitals worldwide this year.

Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) provides lifesaving support for failing organs in infants, children and adults. It is one of the most advanced forms of life support available for patients with acute cardio-respiratory failure, and allows time for a patient’s lungs or heart to heal by using a heart-lung machine to oxygenate blood outside the body.

The Excellence in Life Support award recognizes centers that demonstrate an exceptional commitment to evidence-based quality processes and measures, staff training, continuing education, patient satisfaction and ongoing clinical care. Only 201 prizes have been awarded since 2019.

“Less than 10% of U.S. hospitals provide ECMO services, so being honored for exceptional care in this area is a testament to the tireless effort and dedication our providers have contributed to improving our ECMO program,” said John Conte, MD, President. of Cardiothoracic Surgery for the Geisinger Heart & Vascular Institute. “We are honored not only by this recognition, but also to provide the best outcomes for our sickest patients. »

Since launching its ECMO program in 2013, Geisinger has improved the survival rate of ECMO patients by 50% to 65%, in part through ongoing training and coordination between health system teams and outside institutions that refer patients to Geisinger.

“It’s about getting everyone on the same page,” said Evan Gajkowski, certified critical care nurse and ECMO coordinator for Geisinger. “We have established best practices with every hospital in our system, our Critical Care Medicine and Cardiac Surgery programs, and even with other health systems that refer patients to us requiring extracorporeal support. When everyone understands what makes a patient eligible for ECMO treatment, outcomes improve. And results like this wouldn’t be possible without the critical care nurses, infusion staff and ECMO specialists who are at the bedside and provide excellent care every day.

Aabout Geisinger
Geisinger is committed to facilitating better health for the more than one million people it serves. Founded more than 100 years ago by Abigail Geisinger, the system now includes 10 hospital campuses, a health plan with more than half a million members, a research institute and the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. With nearly 24,000 employees and more than 1,600 physicians employed, Geisinger boosts the economies of his hometown in Pennsylvania by billions of dollars a year. Learn more at, or connect with us at Facebook, instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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