Perfusion Fixes: Getting the Kinks Out!


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Editor’s Note:

One of the things I enjoy the most, is coming up with solutions to problems as they arise.

This is a new section highlighting one the perfusionists’ greatest strengths and assets:  The ability to innovate and come up with solutions to environmental obstacles.  It’s called “thinking OUTSIDE the box”  🙂

 If you would like to share your experiences with coming up with a quick fix to solve problems as they emerge- please submit your ideas/suggestions to [email protected].

Thanks 🙂


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The Problem:  A Venous Line that WANTS to Kink…


A kink in any line on the ECC the line is- is potentially hazardous- and inevitably creeps up as a recurring thorn in the perfusionist’s side.  Kinks can: blow up a circuit, impede forward flow, pressurize systems, and may lead to line ruptures, ALL of which are a clinical nightmare and can result in significant harm to the patient.

Kinks are to be avoided at all cost, because they can create serious problems in a hurry, and may not be readily or easily recognized.

In this case, with this particular circuit (new to us), the weight and angle of the venous line consistently creates an area near the junction of the venous return to the venous reservoir, that tends to kink quite a bit.  Not enough for total occlusion, but significant enough to retard a major portion of the venous return- resulting in inadequate patient exsanguination/drainage.

Our previous fix?  Tape attached distal to the area of the kink, to relieve the weight on the line, and attaching that tape to a pole (higher point) in order to suspend the venous line so to speak.

Now this process worked well enough, but at the same time- looked pretty Jerry Rigged:  Def. “organized or constructed in a crude or improvised manner <a jerry–rigged plan>”.

After a couple of cases- I decided it looked to haphazard and “no-tech” so I opted to find a “low-tech” solution as opposed to having some pump engineers come in to install some sort of supporting bracket.

So here it i is….

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Meet The Dog Leash!

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(No…  This is NOT a paid advertisement for Flexi Freedom dog leashes 🙂  )

How does it work?  The following pictures tell the rest of the story.

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It was a fun fix.  A lot of people laughed when I told them “dog leash” but it worked, and surgeon got a big kick out of it.

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