ECMO Program

Heart & Vascular

Only at Saint Luke's

The region's most experienced adult ECMO Program For patient referral, call 816-210-8135 and say “ECMO."

Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute is the region’s most experienced adult Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) Program. We've provided lifesaving interventions to patients since the program was established in 2009.

In 2016, our program was renamed the Kevin K. Nunnink ECMO Program in memory of one of our first patients. Thanks to ongoing support and generosity from the Kevin K. Nunnink Foundation, we've been able to expand our program with additional ECMO machines—saving even more lives.

What is ECMO?

ECMO is used for patients with life-threatening heart or lung disease or damage. It provides short-term support of the cardiac or pulmonary system when conventional management fails. ECMO can fully support the heart and lungs until the underlying problem is resolved or organ transplantation occurs.

Award-winning care

Our program is a member of and actively participates in the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO) data registry for national and international ECMO centers. ELSO monitors quality standards for member ECMO centers worldwide. Our rate of survival to hospital discharge exceeds the national average reported from all centers participating in the ELSO registry.

In 2015 Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute received the Gold Center of Excellence in Life Support Award from ELSO.

Only 17 awards were given out nationally to adult centers in 2014. Saint Luke's was the only winner from Kansas or Missouri. In order apply for the award, the program has to have a minimum five-year history. We are honored to have won the award in our first year of application. 

  • By the time the night was over, she would be dead. Peter Morello could hear the pulmonologist say this about his 50-year-old wife, Terri Blake, but he couldn't accept it.

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