A Locum’s ScrapBook: “Dealing with Venous Line Kinks and Chatter”

Editor’s Note:

To view the entire “Locum’s ScrapBook” series- click here

My life is Family First and then Perfusion.  I switched from staff perfusionist to becoming a Locum’s traveler to make sure my kids and family would have a solid place to call home.  I travel because it puts me in charge of my life, it is challenging, and I enjoy learning new techniques, other ways of doing things, as well as getting exposure to alternate approaches and paradigms.

So I took my show on the road.  As such, every once in awhile I will be dropping a few notes and pictures of places visited, and observations made.  In a sense, the beginning of a scrap book on Heart Surgery in America (and other places if possible).”

Enjoy 🙂


“Dealing with Venous Line Kinks and Chatter”

Every different extracorporeal circuit has its own pluses and minuses, various nuances, unique kinks (no pun), and design idiosyncrasies that perfusionists adjust to rather quickly I might add, in their day to day application of managing bypass runs. As depicted in the picture above and below, there is an occlusive clamp applied to the venous line- placed there to mitigate chatter resulting from turbulent flow due to either; venous cannula placement, the vascular space that it is placed into, and/or the pressure gradient from the patient to the reservoir – and/or the negative pressure asserted by vacuum assisted venous drainage VA VD.

As this picture also demonstrates, a plastic stent was formed by cutting a 10 mL syringe and shape in into a sleeve jacket in order to support a portion of the venous line that due to weight or positional issues, has an unacceptable kink in it that would include venous return making the operating field impossible to navigate. Once a sleeve was placed onto the area of the kink, a tie band is wrapped around the stent and cinched into place to secure this immobilizing structure. I am sure that all of us deal with this every once in a while – so this isn’t really rocket science as much as it is jerry rigging and innovating on the fly- to deal with issues and nuisances that we as perfusionists (due to a certain degree of OCD) feel obligated or compelled- to eliminate from our train of thought and visual field.

Please feel free to email me at [email protected], to share your own patches, fixes, and parachutes.

Be safe-

Pump Strong! (bcf)

Frank 🙂