Emergency cardiopulmonary support has been used in the United States since 1986, mainly by physicians at participating centers for the National Registry of Elective Supported Angioplasty. Data from the National Registry as well as the experience in three institutions from a number of operators were analyzed to assess the benefits of the emergency cardiopulmonary support application in patients with hemodynamic collapse. Patients who had experienced either cardiac arrest or hemodynamic collapse with cardiogenic shock unresponsive to pressors were placed emergently on cardiopulmonary support. They were either then treated with angioplasty or with revascularization surgery. Patients placed on cardiopulmonary support in less than 15 min experienced a 48% survival rate across the whole registry of the participating centers of the National Cardiopulmonary Bypass Registry. A two-center experience has demonstrated a 69% survival rate. Patients treated with emergency cardiopulmonary support who have experienced hemodynamic collapse have improved survivorship over any other hemodynamic support system. With increasing experience by the operators, the results have improved for survivorship, particularly in the early application group.