Royal Papworth Hospital provides a highly acclaimed, three-day, interactive course for Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) training. The course uses a variation of presentation, practical and simulation sessions taught by the expert multidisciplinary critical care team at Royal Papworth. It is the only course in the UK to be endorsed by Cambridge University Health Partnership and has also been accredited by the Royal College of Anaesthetists.

Offering one of the most established courses in the United Kingdom, Royal Papworth has trained more than 250 delegates from across the world - including Belgium, Croatia, Finland, India, Mauritius, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, UK, USA.

The course is inclusive of all course materials, hotel accommodation and an evening meal at Cambridge University's Jesus College.

Delegates will have opportunity to meet and question consultant and nursing staff in our ECMO team with all topics presented by Royal Papworth Hospital or University staff.

The course has been accredited by the Royal College of Anaesthetists for 15 CPD points and is endorsed by Cambridge University Health Partners.

Course Overview

As one of the country's largest specialist providers of ECMO, Royal Papworth Hospital is well placed to provide expert ECMO Training.

During the course delegates will gain a good understanding of ECMO in the following areas:

  • Cardiac and respiratory support
  • Basic physiology
  • Pathophysiology
  • Ethical considerations
  • Newest circuits and technologies
  • Theoretical and practical assessment

A draft programme can be seen here.

Who should attend?
All members of the multidisciplinary team involved in the care of the patient on ECMO.

Accreditation / Endorsement
The ECMO course has been accredited by the Royal College of Anaesthetists for 15 CPD points and is endorsed by Cambridge University Health Partners. The course includes dedicated practical sessions in small groups.

The course is held over three days and includes a mixture of learning opportunities including:

Multidisciplinary lectures and learning from our expert faculty
To provide a complete multidisciplinary understanding of ECMO, Royal Papworth draws on its expert medical team to offer lectures by consultant anaesthetists and intensivists, consultant surgeon, nurse specialist, consultant haematologist, consultant radiologist, consultant microbiologist, perfusionist and the Dean of Cambridge University, Emmanuel college.

Hands-on ECMO equipment training
Delegates will have the opportunity to have hands-on training in small break-out groups with ECMO circulation. Delegates will experience practising circuit surveillance, trouble-shooting and maintenance best practice.

Simulation Sessions
Using specialist simulation software, delegate will be given a number of simulated patient cases and shown how to manage patient care in a variety of situations.

Tour of Papworth Hospital's Intensive Care Unit
Delegates will be given a tour on Royal Papworth's intensive care unit and have the chance to witness patients on ECMO (case dependant).

At the end of the course delegates will sit a written examination. Papers will be marked and posted to delegates after the course with full written feedback for each question.

3-day Agenda

Royal Papworth Hospital ECMO Course - 3-day Interactive Course

Day 1

Session 1
The basics of ECMO

• History - Types of ECMO
• Indications
• ECMO circuit
• Introduction to simulator

Session 2
ECMO physiology

• Cannulation
• Anticoagulation and monitoring
• ECMO circuit monitoring
• Practical session

Day 2

Session 3
Management of the patient on ECMO

• The cost of ECMO and staffing
• Sedation and pain
• Fluids
• Ventilation
• Nutrition
• Antibiotics
• Ethical considerations
• X-ray imaging and TOE
• Complications
• Practical session

Day 3

Session 4
Miscellaneous ECMO

• Surgery while on ECMO
• ECMO switches
• VADs, IABPs, and PA catheters
• Weaning
• ECPR and CPR on ECMO
• Transfer and ECMO inc air
• Recap session, inc simulator
• Assessment
• Feedback - overall discussion

Practical sessions

• Small groups working with circuits practising circuit surveillance, trouble-shooting and maintenance. Supervised by experienced practitioners.
• Simulated training replicating clinical scenarios relevant to the patient on ECMO. Led by the ECMO clinicians.


Course Directors

Dr Alain Vuylsteke

Dr Alain Vuylsteke, Consultant Intensivist
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Joanne Fowles

Jo-anne Fowles, Nurse Consultant

Course Faculty

Dr Bobby Agrawal

Dr Bobby Agrawal, Consultant Radiologist
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Simon Anderson

Simon Anderson, Senior Perfusionist

Dr Martin Besser

Dr Martin Besser, Haematologist

Revd Jeremy Caddick

Revd Jeremy Caddick, Dean and Director of Studies in Theology,
Emmanual College Cambridge University

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Mr David Jenkins

Mr David Jenkins, Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon
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Dr Ruth Kappeler

Dr Ruth Kappeler, Consultant Microbiologist
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Dr Antonio Rubino

Dr Antonio Rubino, Consultant Anaesthetist
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Dr Kiran Salaunkey

Dr Kiran Salaunkey, Consultant Anaesthetist
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Dr Kamen Valchanov

Dr Kamen Valchanov, Consultant Anaesthetist
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Chinmay Patvardhan, Consultant Anaesthetist


About Your Accommodation

Accommodation is included as part of the Papworth Hospital ECMO course. Delegates will be booked into either the course venue or an alternative hotel in Cambridge City for two nights including breakfast.

Accommodation will be booked by the course facilitator and for international delegates or those wishing to stay longer, the course facilitator can assist in booking extra rooms. Contact the course facilitator »

Dinner at Jesus College, Cambridge

A Cambridge College dinner will be provided as part of the course and takes place on the second evening of the course in the Prioress Room at Jesus College, Cambridge. Transport will be provided to the dinner to and form the hotel.

This will be an informal event, however, the dress code is 'smart'.

For further information about Jesus College, please visit their website

ECMO Service

ExtraCorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) service

Royal Papworth Hospital is one of five hospitals commissioned by the National Specialised Commissioning Team to provide ExtraCorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) to patients with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). This is part of a coordinated national response service to ensure all patients have year-round access to ECMO in England, including the retrieval of these patients from the hospital they are referred from.

This specialist retrieval team is available 24 hours a day to go rapidly to stabilise and retrieve patients referred to the service.

Royal Papworth has developed a solid ECMO service over the last few years and can assist patients with cardiac and respiratory failure. The hospital's clinical expertise is offered to all adult patients with ARDS, a life-threatening condition with high mortality.

What is ECMO?
ECMO is a technique that oxygenates blood outside the body. It can be used in potentially reversible severe respiratory failure when conventional ventilation is unable to oxygenate the blood adequately. The aim of ECMO in respiratory failure is to allow the injured lung to recover whilst avoiding certain recognised complications associated with conventional ventilation. It is high risk and is therefore only used as a matter of last resort in difficult cases. The procedure involves removing blood from the patient, taking steps to avoid clots forming in the blood, adding oxygen to the blood and pumping it artificially to support the lungs.

ECMO is a highly specialised technique, which needs the input of intensive care specialists, cardiothoracic surgeons as well as ECMO-trained nurses and perfusion scientists.

The ECMO service at Royal Papworth
As a tertiary cardiothoracic centre, Royal Papworth Hospital has been providing specialist ECMO services for a number of years. The hospital is registered with the international ExtraCorporeal Life Support Organisation (ELSO) and is renowned for its experience using ECMO for either cardiac or respiratory support.

In addition to providing ECMO on site, Royal Papworth has developed a retrieval service to secure the rapid and safe transfer of patients between referring hospital and the ECMO centres.

Royal Papworth provides the ECMO service to patients in Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Essex and North East London. Based on modelling by the National Specialist Commissioning Team who have commissioned the service, Royal Papworth will receive around thirty patients each year but retains the flexibility to increase capacity in response to higher demand.

Royal Papworth will support the national service by accepting patients from the other centres if they reach full capacity.

Related websites
European Society of Cardiology
National Specialised Commissioning Team on ECMO
ExtraCorporeal Life Support Organisation

Plan your visit to Cambridge

The course
The course is run over a three day period and a detailed programme will be issued upon your arrival at the hospital.

Start and end times for the course are as follows:
Day 1: 09:00-18:00
Day 2: 09:00-17:30
Day 3: 09:00-15:30

Times to be confirmed

Course location
Madingley Hall, Madingley, Cambridge, CB23 8AQ

Course accommodation
Accommodation on Monday and Tuesday evening, with breakfast, is included in the course fee. Any additional accommodation is to be booked personally - we can offer assistance with booking this for you, however, you will need to pay for this separately.

It is recommended that attendees fly into London Stansted, London Gatwick or London Heathrow.

If arriving by rail, the closest railway stations is Cambridge which is a short taxi ride from Madingley Hall.

Recommended taxi service based in Cambridge - Panther Taxis, contactable on 01223 715715.

Facilities at the hospital
Royal Papworth Hospital is the UK's largest specialist cardiothoracic hospital and the country's main heart and lung transplant centre. During the course, we will aim to provide you with a tour of our ICU department. If, however, there are other areas of the hospital that you would like further information on or would like to view, please let us know and this can be arranged after the course has finished on Wednesday.

The hospital has a multi-faith sanctuary on-site. If you would like access to this area please let us know so that further information can be issued.

Special dietary requirements
Please inform us of any special dietary requirements at your earliest convenience.

Casual attire is appropriate throughout the course. The dress code for the college dinner is smart casual.

Anne Scott, Conference Facilitator - Tel: +44 (0)1223 639821; Email:
Robyn Martin, Events and Education Administrator - Tel: +44 (0)1223 639814;

Where are we based?

Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Papworth Everard
CB23 3RE

Telephone:  01480 830541

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