LPM: A Student’s Perspective- Dialysis

“Once the basic pump set-up is learned, there are so many other additional instruments and methods that also need to be understood.”

Kora 2

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Editor’s Note:

This is a continuation of a new series with a guest blogger who is currently enrolled in a perfusion program.  I am impressed that as a perfusion student she has the initiative to share her thoughts and impressions with us regarding the process of learning the art of perfusion technology from her own unique perspective:

“I am a first year perfusion student.I follow your facebook and website to stay updated on perfusion news from all around the world, and I love it. I saw the posting about needing bloggers and wanted to find out if you were interested in a student blogger. Either way, thank you for the work put into the website, it was valuable as I prepared to apply for my program as well as throughout it.

Thank you.”


The name of the series will be as above- LPM: A Student’s Perspective.  There is a slight play on the acronym as the L stands for Learning as opposed to a metric for Q.

As we all know- regardless of experience level- we all learn minute by minute.

Enjoy 🙂


Click here to view the entire LPM series

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Authored by: Kora




Once the basic pump set-up is learned, there are so many other additional instruments and methods that also need to be understood. One lab this quarter focused on the topic of conventional ultrafiltration, modified ultrafiltration, dialysis, and retrograde autologous prime.  Ultrafiltration had been briefly covered in the past and was the easiest concept to master, particularly since it is one that we’ve seen set up most often in a circuit. However, modified ultrafiltration took a lot more work and walking through the circuit set-up. What was most interesting was that it was the one time where the cardioplegia pump was set higher than the arterial pump; contrary to everything learned thus far.

Dialysis was another portion that was an easy concept to understand once we saw the set-up, but one that we’d rarely seen or been able to find much information on in our books. The concept was simple; diffusion. By taking blood gases every few minutes with a raised potassium level, we were able to see just how efficiently the dialyzer was able to restore the electrolyte balance (using added bicarb).

Retrograde autologous prime was the best thing to observe and practice in lab. It is done frequently and in many different ways at various institutions. Simulating it in lab with real blood allowed us to follow the circuit and actively clamp off the arterial and venous lines when necessary, while filling our empty bag connected to the manifold. The beauty of perfusion is that there is such a wide variety of ways to do something and everyone has their own method. By understanding the concept of how it is done, we can piece together how it works in the same way but by other routes at any of our up-coming rotation sites.

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