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Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center Launches First ECMO Program in the Region

July 01, 2024

Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center recently implemented an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) program to provide life support for patients with respiratory or heart failure. The hospital is the first and only in the region and only one of four in Louisiana with this lifesaving adult program.

“The ECMO program is transformative in how we’re saving lives in the Baton Rouge community and beyond,” said Owen Stell, MD, medical director of the ECMO program at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center. “This advanced technology provides critical support to patients in respiratory or cardiac failure, offering hope and improved outcomes.”

ECMO is a complex medical therapy that allows the heart and/or lungs to rest when the body does not respond to conventional medical treatment, and the organs are too sick to properly support normal body functions. ECMO does not heal the body but allows it to rest while the illness or injury improves.

Patients placed on ECMO have an acute and reversible injury or illness. Examples of this include shock, ARDS, respiratory failure, severe respiratory viruses, sepsis, inhalation injury and trauma.

Once the X-rays, labs and other vital aspects show improvement, the ECMO support is gradually weaned. The patient is then removed from the ECMO machine, and their heart and lungs return to working on their own.

The qualified ECMO team at Our Lady of the Lake has more than 30 years of experience with ECMO management and transport, as well as close affiliations with the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization and the American Society of Extracorporeal Technology.

Learn more about the innovations Our Lady of the Lake is bringing to the Baton Rouge community at

About Our Lady of the Lake Health

Our Lady of the Lake Health is a not-for-profit Catholic healthcare ministry based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with more than 7,500 employees committed to serving the Capital Region and building a healthy community through excellence in patient care and education. With an 800-bed Regional Medical Center, a dedicated Children’s Hospital, a 78-bed hospital in Gonzales, Louisiana, two freestanding emergency rooms in outlying parishes, and a 600+ provider Physician Group, Our Lady of the Lake Health provides comprehensive healthcare services for common to complex conditions. Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center is a primary teaching site for graduate medical education programs in partnership with LSU, and is recognized in the areas of heart and vascular, trauma and emergency care, stroke, cancer care, minimally invasive procedures, and more. Our Lady of the Lake is part of the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System and is driven by its mission to serve all God’s people, especially those most in need. For more information, visit

Media Contact

Chrislyn Maher
Senior Director, Marketing & Communications
Our Lady of the Lake Health



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