ECMO Transport System
When life-saving care is too far away

As one of the leading heart institutes in North America, the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute cares for the most complex cardiac patients. That includes adults suffering acute cardiac or respiratory failure who are so close to dying that by the time they get to the Maz, it may be too late. These patients need highly specialized, and portable, life-saving care.

Keeping patients alive

The Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) Transport System is a portable version of ECMO life support technology. ECMO keeps patients alive by assuming the role of their heart and lungs. Giving doctors time to determine the cause of the life threatening condition and the best options for a full recovery.

Portable life support

With the ECMO Transport System, highly trained medical staff can travel to the patient and initiate life support the moment they arrive. And bring the patient back to the Maz as soon and safely as possible for world-leading patient care.

When a patient in Grande Prairie is suffering acute cardiac or respiratory failure, every minute matters." Dr. Gurmeet Singh
When it’s not being used to bring desperately sick patients to the Maz, the ECMO Transport System can serve many other critically important roles in the hospital, among them:

• In-hospital life support – the ECMO Transport System can serve as a back-up whenever the two ECMO machines currently in use at the Maz are saving the lives of other patients.

• Getting in patients where they have to go for patients on life support who need medical attention (i.e – x-rays, CT scans) in other areas of the University of Alberta Hospital site, the portable ECMO is the safest, most efficient way to move them.

Buying time to determine next steps inpatient care – when a patient’s life is at stake, it’s imperative that doctors have as much time as possible to determine next steps. In providing heart, lung and if necessary, heart and lung functions, the ECMO Transport System can provide the extra time needed to save a life.

• Pre and post surgical support – for patients who need or have just undergone a heart, lung, or heart/ lung transplant, the ECMO Transport System can keep them alive.

A dedicated team of care providers 

In 2014, Karen Pilon spent 29 days at the Maz on the ECMO system while waiting for a lung transplant. Although her donor lungs never came, and she passed away on March 25, her family is extremely grateful for the care provided by the dedicated team of healthcare professionals. The family organized a fund-raising event through the Prince Albert and area 4H Beef Clubs in Wild Rose, West PA, Canwood, Welcon and Torch River and raised over $27,000 in support of the life-saving care at the Maz.


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