Qualification, Knowledge, Tasks and Responsibilities of the Clinical Perfusionist in Germany

Interact Cardiovasc Thorac Surg. 2020 Feb 7. [Epub ahead of print]

The long-standing interprofessional and trustful interdisciplinary cooperation between clinical perfusionists or perfusionists (in Germany to be equated with ‘Kardiotechniker’), and cardiac surgeons, anaesthesiologists, internists/cardiologists and paediatric cardiologists, is an integral part of treating patients of all ages with congenital and acquired cardiac, thoracic and vascular diseases. To date, German federal law does not recognize clinical perfusion as a qualified occupation with a specific certification. Nationwide no educational standard exists as an entry requirement to professionally perform clinical perfusion, nor are there any duties and tasks described. For the federal state of Berlin, however, there is a state law according to which the professional title and the activity are protected as a ‘Kardiotechniker’ [medical professions act of 15 June 1983 (MedFBerGBE); there is also a training and examination regulation for perfusionists (KardTechAPrO)] [1]. Therefore, the nationwide gap should be closed by joint recommendations regarding the required knowledge, special duties and responsibilities of the clinical perfusionist.