Perfusionists are a vital part of the cardiac surgical team. They are responsible for the respiratory and circulatory wellbeing of a patient during cardiac surgery - including autologous blood collection and processing. Specifically, perfusionists use artificial blood pumps to mimic heart and lung function in order to keep patients' blood circulating through their body tissue. Specifically, much of the role of the perfusionist involves managing the physiological and metabolic demands of the patient in cardiac surgery while the cardiac surgeon operates on the heart.
Surgeons utilize perfusion services for patients who are having open heart surgery. ATS' Perfusionists are able to provide clinical or consulting services depending on the needs of the hospital.
Perfusionists are a vital part of the cardiovascular surgical team for they are tasked with running the heart-lung (cardiopulmonary bypass machine). During cardiac surgery the heart-lung machine diverts blood away from the heart and lungs thus replacing the functions of these organs. It is the perfusionist’s responsibility to ensure that all blood flow, respiratory functions and metabolic demands by the patient are met. Perfusionists are responsible for some laboratory value monitoring and drug administration under the supervision of the surgeon and anesthesiologist.