Perfusionist Scope of Practice



The practice of perfusion is defined as those functions necessary for the support, treatment, measurement, or supplementation of the cardiopulmonary and circulatory system of the patient. A perfusionist is a skilled person, qualified by academic and clinical education, who operates extracorporeal circulation equipment during any medical situation where it is necessary to support or replace the patient’s cardiopulmonary/circulatory function and ensures the proper management of physiologic functions by monitoring the necessary variables. These duties, upon prescription by a physician and in accordance with hospital policy, include but are not limited to, the safe performance and/or management of:

  1. Extracorporeal circulation/cardiopulmonary support
  2. Counterpulsation
  3. Circulatory support/ventricular assistance
  4. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)
  5. Blood conservation techniques/autotransfusion
  6. Myocardial preservation
  7. Anticoagulation and hemotalogic monitoring/analysis
  8. Physiological monitoring/analysis
  9. Blood gas and blood chemistry monitoring/analysis
  10. Induction of hypothermia/hyperthermia with reversal
  11. Hemodilution
  12. Hemofiltration
  13. Administration of medications, blood components, and anesthetic agents via the extracorporeal circuit
  14. Documentation associated with described duties
  15. Data Management and Quality Control associated with described duties

Other duties may include:

  1. Isolated limb/organ perfusion
  2. Electrophysiological analysis
  3. Surgical assistance
  4. Organ preservation
  5. Dialysis

The perfusionist is knowledgeable concerning the variety of equipment available to perform extracorporeal circulation functions and is responsible, in consultation with the physician, for selecting the appropriate equipment and techniques to be used. The perfusionist may be administratively responsible for purchasing supplies and equipment, assuring periodic maintenance of same, as well as for appropriate personnel and departmental management. Management duties may include development and implementation of policies and procedures, quality assurance measures and staff development. Education and research are a fundamental part of the perfusionist’s scope of practice.