EMSA President and CEO Jim Winham, Board Member and INTEGRIS Health Executive Vice President and General Counsel Allison Peterson, EMSA Deputy Chief – Strategic Development, and EMSA Chief of Staff John Graham debut EMSA’s new ECMO unit at INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center.

EMSA and INTEGRIS Health have partnered to develop a one-of-a-kind specialty care transport ambulance. On Monday, this unit, designated “ECMO 1”, will join the EMSA system.
INTEGRIS Health is proud to be the home of a world class ECMO program that offers lifesaving therapies to patients facing imminent death. INTEGRIS is the first in the state to establish a specialized life support program solely devoted to adult patients suffering from heart or lung failure. The program uses extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, commonly abbreviated as ECMO, as an advanced lifesaving therapy. Since inception of the INTEGRIS ECMO program in 2014, the INTEGRIS team has served over 500 patients with this technology. INTEGRIS’ ECMO team is made up of talented doctors, nurses, perfusionists, and respiratory therapists, who are expertly trained in the field of ECMO and advanced critical care. The INTEGRIS ECMO team is available to serve those in need 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
ECMO provides support to patients whose heart and/or lungs are so severely diseased or damaged that they can no longer serve their function; perhaps after a heart attack, cardiac surgery, pulmonary embolism, near drowning or lung-related issues such as flu or pneumonia. The goal is to allow the heart or lungs to rest and recover while the machine does all the work. When the heart or the lungs have healed and can work on their own, the lifesaving support of the ECMO artificial heart/lung machine is weaned then removed.
INTEGRIS Critical Care ECMO team in conjunction with EMSA provides the highest level of complex care in the state. Outside of ECMO transfers, the INTEGRIS and EMSA teams have the capability of transporting patients who require advanced management of ventilator support, IV medications, and cardiac assist devices including intraaortic balloons pumps, impella devices, and LVAD pumps. The expertise of this team allows for safe inter-hospital transfers, so patients can receive the one of a kind care only INTEGRIS can provide.
Previously only done in a hospital setting, technological advances have allowed ECMO to move into ambulances. Together with EMSA, the INTEGRIS ECMO team stands ready to be there anytime, anywhere, for anyone in need of this life-saving care.
EMSA’s ECMO unit specifications were designed in collaboration with the INTEGRIS Health ECMO Team. Special attention was paid to the layout of the ambulance to make sure the patient could receive the critical clinical care needed, could comfortably and safely transport up to five ECMO Team Members in addition to the patient during long distance transports. Additionally, the larger ambulance also has the capacity to carry more oxygen and other medical gasses that are needed for ECMO patients.
When not assigned to ECMO transports, this unit will serve as one of EMSA’s bariatric ambulances for the Oklahoma City area ensuring this unit is able to serve several key roles in the EMSA system.