Patient Care

Strong Memorial, Golisano Children’s Hospital Recognized for Organ-Failure Care Program

Sep. 14, 2015
Members of the Golisano Children's Hospital extracorporeal life support team at the new children's hospital lobby entrance.

 UR Medicine’s Strong Memorial Hospital and Golisano Children’s Hospital have earned the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization’s Center of Excellence award for the high quality of life-saving support they provide to patients experiencing organ failure.

“Our team provides the highest level of care for pediatric and adult organ failure patients and it’s gratifying to see their achievements recognized,” said Mark Taubman, M.D, CEO of UR Medicine and dean of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. “UR Medicine is the region’s transfer center for organ failure patients; other hospitals rely on our specialists to manage these highly complex cases and deliver life-saving care. Their work is an outstanding example of UR Medicine’s commitment to providing the most comprehensive medical services to patients in Rochester and the region each day.”

Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) supports failing heart and lungs in a patient with a reversible condition, sustaining life to give the patient’s body the time it needs to recover.

Some members of the team that provides life-saving support to adult organ failure patients.

ECMO works by removing blood from the patient’s body, extracting carbon dioxide from the blood while oxygenating red blood cells, then circulating the blood back into the patient’s body. This life-saving support was initially used to treat children with organ failure and evolved into a life-saving therapy for adults as well.

The Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO) is an international consortium of health care institutions dedicated to developing and evaluating new therapies for support of failing organ systems. ELSO maintains a registry of facilities that provide extracorporeal membrane oxygenation; its Center of Excellence Award recognizes those that demonstrate commitment to top-quality care. Recipients have significant breadth and depth of patient populations who are supported by ECMO, deliver high-quality patient care, provide family support services, and implement quality assurance/quality improvement initiatives. This is the first time Strong Memorial and Golisano Children’s Hospital have earned this distinction. 

Strong Memorial Hospital and Golisano Children’s Hospital introduced ECMO services in 1998 and recently expanded the team to include physicians and caregivers from neonatal intensive care, pediatric intensive care, cardiothoracic surgery, and all major subspecialty services. These providers work closely to assure coordinated care for each patient experiencing  multisystem organ failure.

Both hospitals have seen an increase in the number of organ-failure patients who have received ECMO support each year since services began. Golisano Children’s Hospital has treated six to eight pediatric organ failure patients each year for the past three years. Strong Memorial volumes have increased from six adult patients in 2007 to 46 in 2014, with 35 patients year-to-date in 2015.

The quality of UR Medicine’s ECMO services is a tremendous resource for hospitals throughout upstate New York and northern Pennsylvania, who send critical patients to Rochester for long-term care and recovery.    The UR Medicine Critical Care Transport Unit, in partnership with Rural Metro and Mercy Flight Center, is used to transport patients in need of the life-saving intervention.

The new Golisano Children’s Hospital, which provides in-room sleeping accommodations for families in NICU and inpatient areas, supports patients with complex medical conditions and their family members who travel long distances for care.

The three-year designation is recognized by U.S. News and World Report and Parents magazine as a criterion for top institutions.

U.S. News & World Report recently gave UR Medicine’s Strong Memorial Hospital the highest scores for cardiology and cardiac surgery among hospitals in Upstate New York.