What is the Cardiopulmonary Bypass Machine?

During open heart surgery it is necessary to keep the heart and lungs immobile, a surgical field free of blood so that Cardiovascular Surgeons can perform the surgical repair in the best way. To maintain blood flow to the body tissues during the operation, surgeons require the implementation of Extracorporeal support  or Cardio-Pulmonary Bypass machine, which is managed by Cardiovascular Perfusionists.

What is Cardiovascular Perfusion?

Cardiovascular perfusion also called extracorporeal circulation is the science in charge of the study of the physiology and pathology associated with the use of the heart-lung machine. (Extracorporeal Pump or Cardiopulmonary Bypass).

What is a Perfusionist?

The Perfusionist is an essential member of the cardio-surgical team, is the specialist responsible for preparing and operating the extracorporeal circulation machine and other sophisticated equipment (ECMO, Intra-Aortic Balloon Pump, Cell-Saver, Ventricular Assist devices) used during an open heart surgery.

With the extracorporeal circulation machine, blood is diverted so that it does not pass through the heart and lungs; oxygen is added to the blood and returned to the body. During the intervention, perfusionists use the extracorporeal circulation machine, to maintain blood flow to the body tissues and regulate oxygen levels, carbon dioxide in the blood and other blood parameters.

What are the supplies used by a Perfusionist?

Extracorporeal circulation machine: Mechanical device to maintain blood circulation during open heart surgery
Cannulae: Allows the patient to be connected to the extracorporeal circuit.
Oxygenator: Oxygenates, removes carbon dioxide and regulates blood temperature.
Set of Pipes: Set of PVC tubes that allow to connect the extracorporeal circuit with the patient allowing blood flow.
Hemoconcentrator: Semipermeable membrane that allows the passage of water and electrolytes out of the blood.
Cardioplegia Set: It allows administer the doses, to control the temperature and pressure of the cardioplegic solution (Solution in charge to stop the heart and protect it during the surgery).

In CLINICA CARDIOVASCULAR we are convinced to work as a team, so the paramedical support resource is the most prepared and trained, satisfactorily covering the needs that our patients require, having extensive experience in the management of Cardiopulmonary Bypass in adult cardiac surgery, Pediatric Cardiac Surgery and Ventricular Assist Devices.

Lic. Benito Jiménez
Adults & Peds Pefusionist.