CHOC Children’s Recognized as a Leader in Critical Care

CHOC Children’s has been recognized with the ELSO Award for Excellence in Life Support. The award, given by the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO), recognizes programs worldwide that distinguish themselves by having evidence-based processes, procedures and systems in place that promote excellence in extracorporeal life support (ECLS), a special procedure for cardiac and/or respiratory support that allows the sick or injured heart and/or lungs to rest and recover.

CHOC is one of 45 centers internationally to receive the award and three-year designation as an ELSO Center of Excellence for 2014-2017. CHOC is the only Orange County hospital offering ECLS, and was recognized by the ELSO award committee for submitting one of the highest-scoring applications this year.

“This award signifies to patients and families a commitment to exceptional, state-of-the-art patient care and lets them know that they are in the right place,” says Joanne Starr, director of ECLS and surgical director of the cardiovascular intensive care unit (CVICU) at CHOC.

The ELSO Award of Excellence demonstrates an assurance of high-quality standards, collaboration, specialized equipment and supplies, defined patient protocols, and advanced education of all staff members. Additionally, the award is recognized by U.S. News & World Report and Parents magazine as one criterion for top institutions.

The majority of ECLS services at CHOC are provided in three critical care units, including the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, and the CVICU. These services can also be provided in other areas of the hospital, including the emergency room.

ELSO is an international consortium of health care professionals and scientists dedicated to the development and evaluation of novel therapies for support of failing organ systems.

The award ceremony will take place at the annual ELSO conference in Ann Arbor, Mich., in September.

CHOC Children's is exclusively committed to improving the health and well-being of children through clinical expertise, advocacy, outreach, education and research. Our growing health care community includes two state-of-the-art pediatric hospitals in Orange and Mission Viejo, many primary and specialty care clinics, a mental health inpatient center, and four clinical centers of excellence – the CHOC Children’s Heart, Neuroscience, Orthopaedic and Hyundai Cancer Institutes. To learn more, visit