Carolinas HealthCare System

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The follow-up for neonatal intensive care nursery (NICN) patients who were on ECMO (Extracorporeal Membranous Oxygenation) was started in 2001.

Patients at Levine Children's Hospital in Charlotte, NC, who required this life saving modality are often at risk for medical issues after their discharge from the hospital (mainly respiratory problems and failure to thrive), and they are also at risk for neurodevelopmental delay.

Because of an interest with these patients, as well as to act as an adjunct to the primary care physician, the clinic's prime objective was to follow the neurodevelopmental outcomes of the patients at 6 months, 12 months and 2 years of age.

Each Visit to the ECMO Follow-Up Clinic

At each visit to the ECMO follow-up clinic, a routine history and physical will be performed, as well as the Bayley's Scales of Infant Development, a screening tool for a patient's cognitive and motor (fine and gross) development. In addition, on the first visit, a hearing evaluation also will be performed.

The multi-disciplinary team of a physician, occupational or physical therapist and audiologist, as well as additional assistance with nutrition, helped make assessments and plans for patients and their families if they were deemed to require additional resources. Follow-up was then extended to follow patients who had required the total body cooling protocol due to hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy.