A Perfusionist performs a critical role as a member of the team who saves a patient’s life in an operating room. Educated as a skilled allied health professional, a Perfusionist serves as a member of an open-heart surgical team who is responsible for the selection, setup, and operation of a mechanical device commonly referred to as the heart-lung machine. Shadow a Perfusionist
During many types of open-heart surgery, the patient’s heart is stopped so that it is easier for the surgeon to work on. The patient’s blood is diverted away from the heart and lungs into a heart-lung machine. The heart-lung machine takes blood out of the body, oxygenates the blood and then returns the blood to the patient. In effect, the machine assumes the function of both the heart and the lungs. The Perfusionist is responsible for operating the machine during surgery, closely monitoring the altered circulatory process, taking appropriate corrective action when abnormal situations arise and keeping both the surgeon and the anaesthetist fully informed.
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