Adult Extracorporeal Life Support (ECLS) use is rapidly increasing. The structure of fellowship ECLS education is unknown. We sought to define current ECLS education and identify curricular needs.Materials and methods:
An anonymous survey with Likert, binary and free response questions was sent to Critical Care Program Directors (CCPDs).Results:
A total of 103 CCPDs responded, a response rate of 31. ECLS training was provided by 64% (66/103) of fellowships. Importantly, 50% (52/103) of CCPDs agreed or strongly agreed that fellows should be competent in ECLS and 70% (72/103) agreed or strongly agreed that ECLS will be an important part of critical care in the next 10 years. Only 28% (29/103) and 37% (38/103) of CCPDs agreed or strongly agreed their fellows could independently manage veno-arterial or veno-venous ECLS, respectively. Formal ECLS education was 5 h or less in 85% (88/103) of programs. Desired curricular improvements were: simulation 50% (51/103), patient volume 47% (48/103), and didactics 44% (45/103).Conclusions:
CCPDs identified ECLS as a critical care skill, but believe that a minority of fellows are prepared for independent practice. Simulation, formal didactics and clinical volume are key needs. These data will guide the development of ECLS curriculum.