Cardiovascular perfusionists operate extracorporeal circulation equipment and perform a vital function as part of a cardiac operating room team of skilled medical professionals that include cardiac surgeons, anesthetists, and nurses. Perfusionists maintain a patient's circulation and respiration during open-heart surgery through the operation of mechanical pumps and artificial gas exchange devices. In addition, their responsibilities include the use of techniques such as hemodilution, hemoconcentration, auto transfusion, and the operation of intra-aortic balloon pumps. Research perfusionists also operate extracorporeal circulation equipment in critical care settings other than the operating room.
North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission