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The pandemic from the SARS-CoV‑2 virus is currently challenging healthcare systems all over the world. Maintaining appropriate staffing and resources in healthcare facilities is essential to guarantee a safe working environment for healthcare personnel and safe patient care. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) represents a valuable therapeutic option in patients with severe heart or lung failure. Although only a limited proportion of COVID-19 patients develop respiratory or circulatory failure that is refractory to conventional treatment, it is of utmost importance to clearly define criteria for the use of ECMO in this steadily growing patient population. The ECMO working group of the Medical University of Vienna has established the following recommendations for ECMO support in COVID-19 patients.