Center of Excellence Award for Advanced Life Support

The Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo operates the only program in Western New York for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), and has been serially recognized by the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO) as a Center of Excellence for its dedication to this potentially life-saving therapy for patients with devastating heart and lung dysfunction. This recognition, beginning in 2009, signifies a commitment to therapeutic standards and practices of the highest order, going beyond published guidelines. From newborns to young adults, some of the most critically ill patients across eight counties have been saved by the outstanding efforts of the ECMO team at WCHOB. Essential to this success is continued collaborative efforts between the pediatric intensivists and surgeons, nurses and respiratory therapists, all coming together to provide a level of care that is unmatched in the region.

Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo PICU Ranks High Amongst National Peers

According to a report from Virtual PICU Systems, LLC, the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo cared for the 3rd sickest patients, yet recorded the 2nd lowest mortality rate from April 2013 through March of 2014 as compared to similar PICUs nationwide.

Virtual PICU Systems, LLC (VPS) is a clinical database made up of 108 pediatric facilities from across the country dedicated to standardized data sharing and benchmarking among their ICUs. Participation requires commitment to the collection of high quality data for each and every PICU admission, with the ultimate goal of impacting both care and outcomes.  To this end, the VPS community collaborates to share and compare their data through generation of carefully selected comparison groups and performance reports for each member institution.

A comparison group of eleven PICUs for WCHOB was selected based on several factors, including characteristics impacting volume, acuity, and length of stay. The highlights from WCHOB’s performance report for its latest pooled data (April 2013 – March 2014) are outlined below:

  • Admission rates were comparable, and slightly higher, to the other ICUs in the comparison group
  • The WCHOB PICU had the third highest acuity in the group, based on the VPS metrics of illness severity
  • Despite ranking in the top three for acuity, the WCHOB PICU had the second lowest mortality rate and a comparable length of stay
  • This was accomplished despite the fact that over 80% of WCHOB PICU admissions were unscheduled, a significantly higher proportion than the reference group 
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