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Cardiac Perfusionist Expert Witnesses

Find the expert you need for cases involving heart surgery

A perfusionist, also known as a clinical perfusionist or a cardiovascular perfusionist, is a specialized health professional who operates the heart-lung machine during cardiac surgery and other surgeries that require cardiopulmonary bypass. Perfusionists are part of surgical teams that include cardiac surgeons, anesthesiologists, physician assistants, surgical technicians, respiratory therapists, and nurses.

The perfusionist is specifically responsible for utilizing the heart-lung machine and monitoring physiologic parameters that ensure that the circulatory and respiratory needs of the patient are met. Perfusionists can be involved in a number of cardiac surgical procedures, select vascular procedures, and a few other surgical procedures in an ancillary role.

Perfusionists in the United States must typically complete a specialized cardiac perfusionist program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). These programs typically last between one to two years and require a minimum of a bachelor's degree in a healthcare-related field. After completing the program, cardiac perfusionists must pass a certification exam administered by the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion (ABCP) to become a certified clinical perfusionist (CCP).

Clinical procedures involving perfusionists

In the realm of cardiac surgery, perfusionists perform cardiopulmonary bypasses in adult and pediatric surgical procedures.

Pediatric pathologies and surgical procedures include:

  • Atrial septal defects,
  • Ventricular septal defects,
  • Tetralogy/Pentalogy of fallot,
  • Truncus Arteriosus,
  • Transposition of the Great Vessels,
  • Cardiac transplants,
  • Lung transplants,
  • Coarctation of the aorta,
  • Interrupted aortic arch,
  • Hypoplastic left/right heart,
  • Subaortic membrane,
  • Mitral valve repair/replacement,
  • Aortic valve disorders,
  • Anomalous/Single coronary artery,
  • Vascular ring,
  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).

Adult surgical procedures may include:

  • Coronary artery bypass,
  • Aortic valve replacements,
  • Mitral valve repair/Mitral valve replacement,
  • Tricuspid valve repair,
  • Aortic root replacements,
  • Atrial myxomas,
  • Dissections/Aneurysms/Trauma of the aorta (Ascending, Arch & Descending),
  • Renal cell carcinoma/Obstructive vena cava,
  • Veno-venous bypass (e.g., during liver transplants),
  • Cardiac/Lung transplants,
  • Implants of ventricular assist devices,
  • EMCO.

Cardiac perfusionist medical malpractice case matter

Because a cardiac perfusionist plays a critical role in heart surgery, the potential consequences of malpractice are devastating. Examples of malpractice in this medical specialty include:

  • Errors in the management of the heart-lung machine, such as incorrect calibration.
  • Failure to properly monitor the patient’s vital signs during heart surgery.
  • Failure to adequately communicate with the surgeon, anesthesiologist, and other members of the surgical team.
  • Failure to respond appropriately to complications during heart surgery.

Find the cardiac perfusion expert witness you need

Our network includes experienced cardiac perfusionists who can provide testimony regarding the standard of care in the profession, potential causes of the injury, and whether the perfusionist's actions met the appropriate standard of care. Our experts are available for consultations, hearings, depositions, and trial as needed. Contact us today to find the expert witness you need.

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