Did you post this under Neonatal, too? If not, you should.
We have not done ECMO in a long time, but from what I remember:
#1 reason to go on ECMO is Meconium Aspiration Syndrome, and the Persistant Fetal Circulation that goes with it. These are term baby issues.
I think that there are limits for gestational age and wt. Under 35 wks, babies are more prone to have Intraventricular Hemorrhages anyway, and they must be heparinized for ECMO, so being a premie is sort of contraindication.
Length of time on ECMO varies upon the baby's progess and condition.
I don't know survival rates and outcome, but I would assume that the kid took a pretty significant hit before ECMO, and may not be Harvard material after--not that that is bad, mind you. I believe they get follow-up in Developmental Clinic to watch for problems, and referral to OT/PT/Speech as needed.
I don't know if quality of PNC (or lack) predicts ECMO. There are criteria for ECMO. Don't know the specifics.
Complications: infection, clotting, hemorrhage, not being able to get off, therapeutic misadventures, i.e., problems w/tubing, machines, etc.; these are VERY unstable babies--death is definitely a possibility.
They put the cannula/ae in the neck.
Hope this helps--and if there is anything I either left out or got wrong, someone will post after me and fix it!! Thanks