About Us

Welcome to ED ECMO, the site to learn about resuscitative ECMO and ECLS. This site started as partnership of three resuscitationists: Joe, Zack and Scott.


Walter Dembitsky, MD
Cardiothoracic Surgeon

Zack and Joe are emergency physicians practicing in a suburban Emergency Department in San Diego, California.  In 2010, Joe was talking with Walter Dembitsky, MD, one of the pioneers of extracorporeal life support and percutaneous ECMO. What came out of this conversation was the question, “Why  aren't we doing ECMO/ECLS for cardiac arrest in the ED?” ECLS is mobile, ECLS is performed via big femoral central lines that ED docs can place, and the inpatient studies available show a huge benefit when compared with traditional resuscitation.

Over the next several months, Joe and Zack began incorporating ECLS into a resuscitation strategy for arresting patients, who were failing traditional therapies. The outcomes were amazing.

When Scott heard about their strategy, he became extremely jealous. So much so that he went back to get additional training in resuscitative ECMO so he could bring the technique to his own EDICU.

Our Goals

The goal of this site is to raise the awareness of ECLS in the Emergency Department.  We want to show you how you can use percutaneous cardiopulmonary bypass in your emergency department.

So stop with the crappy one-handed CPR already!  Come with us as we change the world of resuscitation!

Conflict of Interest

We are not taking any funding from any manufacturer, company, or organization.


Joe Bellezzo, MD

bellezzoJoe works full time at Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego, California where he is the Med Staff Secretary, Ultrasound Director and co director of the Emergency Department ECLS prgram.  He received his medical degree at St. Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri and then completed the Emergency Medicine resident training program at the University of California, San Diego.  Social: (@drbellezzo, +drbellezzo)


Zack Shinar, MD

Zack works full time at Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego, California as a board certified emergency physician.  He co-directs the ED ECLS program with Joe and is the chair of the Emergency Department.  He is involved with medical education with high school students (Emerge), medical students and residents (UCSD and USC). He graduated as chief resident from Los Angeles County/USC Emergency Medicine Program.  He studied bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania as an undergraduate.  Email: zshinar@hotmail.com Social: @zackshinar


Scott D. Weingart, MD FCCM

weingartScott received his medical degree and completed a residency in Emergency Medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He then went on to a fellowship in Trauma and Surgical Critical Care at the Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. Ten years later, he returned to Shock Trauma to do an ECMO fellowship. He is best known for his podcast on ED Critical Care called the EMCrit Podcast; it currently is downloaded > 450,000 times per month. You can contact Scott individually at the emcrit contact page. Social (@emcrit)



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  1. Hi guys!

    Great blog! Hope to have you back for CCUS 2015 – Resuscitation at the Cutting Edge. Keep up the unbelievable work!


  2. Excellent blog, Very informative.


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