In Japan, perfusionists who work on other clinical tasks are involved in cardiopulmonary bypass. Moreover, the number of cases they can perform is limited. In view of this situation, valve type semi-closed extracorporeal circulation (VACC) was developed as a system that enables extracorporeal circulation (ECC) regardless of perfusionists’ experience. The VACC circuit is based on a conventional open-type ECC circuit. A safety valve is installed at the outlet of the reservoir. It is closed by lowering the reservoir pressure below the venous circuit pressure (Pv), thereby providing a closed-type ECC in which the reservoir is separated from the venous circuit (V-circuit). A closed-type ECC needs means to cope with negative pressure generated in the V-circuit and to remove air mixed in the V-circuit. Water experiments to verify the safety of the VACC were conducted. In experiments simulating low venous return, when the Pv dropped, the safety valve opened so that the V-circuit was connected to the reservoir, and the excessive negative pressure was relieved. In the VACC circuit, a bubble trap is installed in the V-circuit, and the air is degassed to the reservoir by a roller pump (D-pump). A water experiment was conducted to verify the principle of the constant degassing method using the D-pump. It verified that the blood storage volume could be maintained constant even if the D-pump is continuously driven. The VACC system provides handling of air mixed in the V-circuit and safety in the case of low venous return.
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