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The Clinical Perfusion department provides Clinical Perfusion services to the Adult Cardiothoracic Unit at St. George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust..

This speciality is only associated with hospitals performing open heart surgery and is conducted by highly specialised individuals – Clinical Perfusion Scientists.

Clinical Perfusion Scientists are responsible for setting up and running heart-lung machines, which are used to support patients during open heart surgery.

We also set up and provide support for the Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) and Intra-aortic ballon pump (IABP); both used to support the function of a patient’s heart. The use of these techniques allows the heart time to recuperate following injurious events.

Clinical Perfusion Scientists at St. George’s Hospital are also principally responsible for the use and management of other machines including cell savers, blood gas analysers, thromboelastograph (TEG), platelet mapping and activated clotting time (ACT) monitors.

St. George’s Hospital is also one of the only centers in the UK that has the high fidelity “Orpheus” cardiopulmonary bypass simulation system. The Clinical Perfusion department collaborates with the Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery (SCTS) to provide a simulation course. The simulation course is held at St. George’s Hospital and sees a number of cardiac surgical specialists across the UK attend annually.

Clinical Perfusion team

Annually, over 1000 adult patients receive Clinical Perfusion services at St. George’s Hospital. This makes us one of the busiest adult Clinical Perfusion teams in the country.

The team comprises of six qualified Clinical Perfusion Scientists, and we currently have an in-house Clinical Perfusion training programme with one Trainee Clinical Perfusion Scientist. The in-house training programme is supplemented with academic teaching via a 2-year MSc Perfusion Science course held at the University of Bristol.

A 24-hour on-call service is provided across the Trust to cover any Cardiac procedures that are carried out outside normal working hours or in the event of an emergency.