Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is a life-sustaining salvage therapy applied to the patient with acute heart failure or respiratory failure which is considered curable, but uncorrectable by conventional means. Recently, accumulating data has shown the survival benefit of ECMO in patients with acute fatal cardiopulmonary decompensation. Here, we report a series of cases of successful ECMO treatment in patients with acute cardiopulmonary insufficiency. Case 1: A patient with progressive respiratory failure on mechanical ventilation after pneumonectomy was managed satisfactorily using a veno-venous ECMO. Case 2: A veno-arterial ECMO was used to support a patient with vasopressor refractory septic shock. After 5 days of treatment, the patient was successfully weaned from ECMO. Case 3: A patient in cardiac arrest after the orthopedic surgery was resuscitated using a veno-arterial ECMO. Pulmonary angiography on ECMO revealed massive pulmonary thromboembolism and embolectomy was thoroughly performed under the support of ECMO.