Survey of the Routine Practice Limits for Physiologic and Technical Parameters Managed by Clinical Perfusionists during Adult Cardiopulmonary Bypass

J Extra Corpor Technol . 2020 Sep;52(3):165-172

We conducted a national survey of clinical practice with the purpose of producing a benchmark of the typical variability of specific technical parameters that are commonly managed during adult CPB procedures.

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Cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) is a highly technical clinical discipline with a recognized variability in practice. Professional standards and guidelines documents help direct clinical practice and reduce variability, but these guidelines are necessarily vague and fall short of providing specific objective recommendations of clinical practice metrics. If clinical practice metrics were known, they would be informative when writing departmental policy manuals, structuring quality improvement initiatives, describing product R&D specifications, and designing educational assessment rubrics. Therefore, to address this gap, we conducted a national survey of clinical practice with the purpose of producing a benchmark of the typical variability of specific technical parameters that are commonly managed during adult CPB procedures. A pool of expert clinical perfusionists collaborated to compile a data set of normal ranges for 41 individual physiologic and technical parameters (pressures, flows, saturation, times, solutions, and temperatures) that are commonly managed during adult CPB procedures. Results were collected using an online survey application. Respondent demographics and measures of central tendency with descriptive quartile statistics and confidence intervals for each parameter are presented. Of the 335 people who participated in the survey, 315 met the inclusion criteria. The geographic demographics of the respondents were representative of the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion’s distribution of certified clinical perfusionists. Of the 41 parameters investigated, there were 13 hemodynamic parameters, 13 normal flow rates and technical circuit parameters, 10 blood gasses and hematocrit parameters, and five parameters of patient temperatures. The data presented here are informative and provide a consensus-based objective assessment of the standard practice for adult CPB as reported by practicing clinical perfusionists. Based on these survey data, we have identified the typical clinical limits for the 41 parameters that are managed during adult CPB. This information may be incorporated into guiding documents to support the work of clinicians, researchers, and educators.