Q592602

List of Perfusionist : Vote for your favorites.

List of Perfusionist    : Vote for your favorites.

A perfusionist, also known as a clinical perfusionist, clinical perfusion scientist, perfusionist doctor or cardiovascular perfusionist, is a healthcare professional who uses the cardiopulmonary bypass machine (heart–lung machine) during cardiac surgery and other surgeries that require cardiopulmonary bypass to manage the patient's physiological status. In some countries, perfusionists are clinical scientists who have undertaken postgraduate training, while in other countries the field is classed as a medical specialty and the role is restricted to specialised doctors.

Perfusionists forms part of the wider cardiothoracic surgical team which includes cardiac surgeons, anesthesiologists, physician assistants, surgical technologists, and nurses. The perfusionist shares responsibility with the anesthesiologist for the management of the physiological and metabolic needs of the cardiac surgical patient, so that the surgeon may operate on a still, unbeating heart during certain procedures. This is accomplished through the utilization of the heart–lung machine, as well as its associated components of an oxygenator, filters, reservoirs and tubing. The perfusionist is responsible for the management of circulatory and respiratory functions of the patient which has a great effect on the patient systemic condition and allows the cardiac surgeon to focus on the actual surgical procedure and less on the immediate needs of the patient. Other responsibilities include autologous blood collection and processing, implementation and management of the intra-aortic balloon pump, and management of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, as well as monitoring of anticoagulation, electrolyte, acid-base balance and blood-gas composition. In many tertiary hospitals, perfusionists are also key personnel in placing and managing patients on ventricular assist devices as a bridge to recovery or heart transplantation and supporting patients receiving lung or liver transplants. In some hospitals, perfusionists can be involved in procurement of cardiothoracic donor organs for transplantation.

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