Facts About Perfusionists

Facts About Perfusionists


Perfusionists, also known as cardiovascular perfusionists, are highly skilled medical professionals who primarily work in cardiac operating rooms. Their role in cardiac surgery is crucial for positive surgical outcomes. Perfusionists operate what is known as the heart-lung machine. The heart-lung machine does the work of both the heart and the lungs: pumping and oxygenating blood. Disposables are used on the heart-lung machine to pull blood from the heart, filter the patients’ blood, oxygenate the blood, heat/cool the blood, and propel the blood back into the patient. Cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) is used because of the difficulty of operating on a beating heart. CPB allows the surgeon to work on the heart while it is still and empty. The perfusionist is trained to perform these techniques in coordination with the cardiac surgeon, anesthesiologist, and other medical staff.


Other jobs that perfusionists perform include: Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC), Cell Salvage (cell savers), Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) treatments, and Activating clotting time (ACT) testing.


For more information please refer to the links below:


American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion

American Society of Extra-Corporeal Technology (AmSECT)

Perfusionist Career

American Heart Association (AHA)

The American Academy of Cardiovascular Perfusion (AACP)

Cardiopulmonary Bypass (CPB)


Welcome from our Director of Graduate Studies

kirk-bingham-perfusion-directorRead More

Meet With Us At



Help support the world-class surgical care, education, and research in the division of Cardiothoracic Surgery. For questions, contact Collette Wixom-Call at 801-213-0920.

Give Today!

Upcoming Events

View Calendar


You can help the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery continue to progress with even a small contribution.

Give Today!