Format: Virtual 
Dates: June 11-12, 2024

The Advanced Master Course (integration and simulation) in ECLS/ECMO provides participants with a solid view of ECLS/ECMO with a focus on weaning from VV ECMO and VA ECMO, patient-related VA ECMO complications (differential oxygenation – limb ischaemia – LV overload), and awake ECMO (potential benefits and pitfalls). This e-Course is part of a joint EuroELSO & ESICM programme to provide specialised training in extracorporeal techniques to healthcare professionals interested in the field. Certificates may be validated at EuroELSO on the path to the ELSO Adult ECMO Practitioner Certification (E-AEC).  After registering, ensure you access the dedicated online classroom on the ESICM Academy.


  • Jan BĚLOHLÁVEK MD PhD, Cardiologist, intensivist, Chief Physician, 2nd Department of Internal Medicine – Clinic of Cardiology and Angiology, First Faculty of Medicine Charles University in Prague and General University Hospital in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic; Past President of EuroELSO
  • Dieter DAUWE MD, PhD, Cardiologist – Intensivist UZ Leuven, Assistant Professor KU Leuven, Belgium

Core joint faculty

  • Marta Velia ANTONINI CCP, CCN, MS – ECMO Team – AUSL Romagna; Adjunct Lecturer – Department of Biomedical, Metabolic and Neural Sciences, University of Modena & Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy
  • Nicholas BARRETT MD – Consultant in critical care, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London, United Kingdom; President of EuroELSO
  • Daniel DE BACKER MD, PHD Head of Intensive Care and Emergency Departments, CHIREC Hospitals, Belgium, Professor of Intensive Care Medicine, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium
  • Jordi RIERA MD PhD – Critical Care Department, Adult ECMO program Director,Vall d’Hebron University Hospital, Barcelona, Spain. EuroELSO Steering Committee, ELSO Scientific Oversight Committee
  • Matthieu SCHMIDT MD, PhD – Professor of Intensive Care Medicine, Sorbonne University, Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital, Paris, France; Chair of the EuroELSO scientific committee
  • Leen VERCAEMST RN, ECCP, University Hospital Leuven, Belgium, EBCP-EuroELSO Liaison, Member of the EBCP Scientific Committee & EuroELSO Steering Committee
  • List circuit monitoring tools.
  • List the considerations for selecting the appropriate ECMO cannula.
  • Outline the process of percutaneous cannulation
  • Discuss the role of ultrasound in cannulation
  • Discuss anticoagulation monitoring on ECMO.
  • List standard management strategies for respiratory failure
  • Discuss the rationale of VV ECMO in respiratory failure
  • Describe the concept of native lung rest
  • Troubleshoot recirculation.
  • List standard management strategies for cardiac failure
  • Discuss the rationale of VA ECMO in cardiac failure
  • Describe the concept of native heart rest.
  • Describe ventilator management and blood and gas flow titration for pulmonary support.
  • Describe the process of weaning VV ECMO support.
  • List exit strategies for the VV ECMO patient.
  • Describe the process of weaning VA ECMO support
  • List exit strategies for the VA ECMO patient
  • List medical and mechanical complications of ECMO.
  1. The ECMO circuit:
    • Indications and challenges of ‘non-standard’ ECMO configurations (V-AV, V-P, high flow configurations, V-A with subclavian return line, …)
  2. Cannulation for adult cardiac and respiratory ECMO:
    • Role of imaging for safe ECMO cannulation and troubleshooting, focus on ultrasound
  3. ECMO for adult respiratory failure:
    • Ventilator management and potential role for prone positioning during VV-ECMO support
    • Management of suboptimal oxygenation during VV-ECMO support
    • Weaning from VV-ECMO support
  4. ECCO2R: Evidence, indications and techniques
  5. ECMO for adult cardiac failure:
    • Assessment and treatment of complications secondary to Patient – VA-ECMO Interactions:
      • Focus on left heart congestion and ventriculo-arterial uncoupling: Including extensive discussion on medical and surgical left heart unloading strategies
      • Other: Differential oxygenation, Limb ischemia
    • VA-ECMO versus other short term circulatory support devices (Impella, IABP, …)
    • Weaning from VA-ECMO support (including echocardiography assessment)
  6. ECMO for refractory cardiac arrest (ECPR):
    •  Evidence
    • Indications and contra-indications
    • Postresuscitation care and neuro prognostification on ECMO
    • How to organize an ECPR program ?
  7. Varia: “Capita Selecta” and “Short Topics”:
    • Procedures on ECMO
    • Drug pharmacokinetics during ECMO support
    • Intra and inter hospital Transportation on ECMO
    • Awake ECMO: Potential benefits and pitfalls (physiotherapy, …)
    • Organisation of an ECMO program: Centralization and regionalization of ECMO resources.

A total of 5 fellowships will be conducted in centres around Europe, giving fellows the opportunity to experience ECLS/ECMO in real-life settings and learn directly from experts. Fellowship-related costs (accommodation and travel) up to 1000 EUR/fellow will be reimbursed by ESICM.

Eligibility for fellowships:

  • Must be a member of the ESICM (so join us now if not already a member!)
  • Must attend at least 2 levels of the Haemodynamics pathway within 1 year
  • Fellowships will be awarded on basis of attendance at the course and highest performance in the post-course evaluation.

Fellowship center, dates and mentors to be confirmed at a later stage

Note! Priority will be given to those participants who haven’t benefitted from a fellowship on this topic before.

  • Senior physicians involved or interested in ECMO
  • Perfusionists and Nurses involved in ECMO or interested in respiratory vs circulatory support

IMPORTANT! A total of 10 places will be offered for FREE to participants coming from Low and Middle-Income Countries (LMIC), as per the World Bank classification. If you are interested to apply for an LMIC place, send us your letter of interest and CV to Applicants from LMIC may be selected for a maximum of 3 ESICM eCourses for FREE every year. Applicants who have participated in 1 eCourse as a free LMIC applicant need to have an active ESICM membership for the current year before applying again. Deadline for LMIC applications: June 12, 2023. 

An application will be made to the UEMS EACCME® for CME accreditation of this event.

Highlights of previous editions


63 participants from 28 countries integrated their knowledge in ECLS/ECMO in this Advanced Master Course! Here are some of their comments on this innovative educational format and its expected impact on their clinical practice:

  • ECLS-ECMO is an evolving field, and master courses may include discussions on the latest research, technological advancements, and clinical guidelines. Staying up-to-date with current trends can help participants integrate the latest evidence-based practice.
  • The quality of the presentations. I loved the quiz activity too!
  • Prior to attending this lecture, my understanding and grasp of ECMO, as well as its associated physics, were quite limited. However, I have come to realise that my knowledge has significantly improved as a result of this informative session.
  • The academic basis followed by interactive real-life clinical cases
  • Previously, I had not been able to handle ECMO effectively in my hospital. However, now I am eagerly anticipating the opportunity to work with it.



Foundation Course in ECLS/ECMO

Level 1: an intro to core skills

Learn more


Transition Course in ECLS/ECMO

Level 2: apply what you learned

Learn more