424 Lotus Path
Clearwater, FL 33756-3832
+1 (727) 480-6599
"Perfusion is the science concerned with the diffusion and
transsemination of nutrient-rich blood throughout the body."
Perfusion is the science concerned with the diffusion and transsemination of
nutrient-rich blood throughout the body. Frequently during cardiac surgery it
is necessary to temporarily suspend the normal perfusion function of the heart
and lungs while the surgeon operates on the heart or aorta (the large artery
carrying oxygenated blood away from the heart). At this time, the patient's own
circulatory functions are stopped and transferred to a cardiopulmonary bypass
(CPB) circuit using a heart-lung machine.
During this CPB procedure, the patient's venous (deoxygenated) blood is diverted
to an artificial disposable "oxygenator" which adds oxygen to the blood thereby
assuming the patient's lungfunction. Another vital component of the cardiopulmonary
bypass (CPB) circuit is the "pump" which actively propels the now-oxygenated blood
back into the patient's circulation at an appropriate flow rate thus taking the place
of the patient's normal heart function.
This artificial cardiopulmonary bypass circulation is called "extracorporeal circulation"
or ECC, because it occurs outside the patient's body. During this temporary
bypass the patient's metabolic parameters such as temperature, anesthesia level, kidney
function and blood chemistry are carefully monitored and can be adjusted if necessary.
The health care professional called a Perfusionist is responsible
(under physician supervision) for the assembly of the CPB circuit and monitoring
of the patient's metabolic status during extracorporeal circulation. A certified
clinical perfusionist (CCP) is a professional who has graduated from an accredited
perfusion education program and has successfully passed a national examination.
In order to provide optimal patient care, continuing education is mandatory to
assure that the perfusionist keeps their knowledge base updated.