Advisory: Give yourself extra time when travelling by car to Toronto General Hospital, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, or Toronto Rehab University Centre. City of Toronto construction on University Ave. may cause delays.
At UHN, we strive to deliver Compassionate Care & Caring. Learn more about the services and supports that are available to you throughout your journey.
Our UHN programs and services are among the most advanced in the world. We have grouped our physicians,
staff, services and resources into 10 medical programs to meet the needs of our patients and help us make
the most of our resources.
At the heart of everything we do at UHN are our Healthcare Professionals. Refer a patient to one of our 12 medical programs. Learn more about the resources and opportunities available for professional growth.
University Health Network has grown to be one of the largest research and teaching hospital networks in Canada - pioneers in improving the lives of patients. Our long history of health professions education at Toronto General, Toronto Western, Princess Margaret and Toronto Rehab hospitals has consistently advanced the science of education.
University Health Network is a health care and medical research organization in
Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The scope of research and complexity of cases at UHN has made us a national and international
source for discovery, education and patient care.
Being touched by illness affects us in different ways. Many people want to give back to the community
and help others. At UHN, we welcome your contribution and offer different ways you can help so you can find one that suits you.
The Newsroom is the source for media looking for information about UHN or trying to connect with one
of our experts for an interview. It's also the place to find UHN media policies and catch up on our news stories, videos, media releases,
podcasts and more.
The clinical cardiovascular perfusionist (perfusionist for short) is trained and educated as a member of an open-heart, surgical team responsible for the selection, setup, and operation of a mechanical device commonly referred to as the heart-lung machine. During many types of open-heart and thoracic surgery, the patient's heart is arrested and blood is diverted away from the heart and lungs being pumped and oxygenated by the heart-lung machine. In effect, the machine does the pumping and breathing for the patient.
The perfusionist is responsible for operating the machine during surgery, monitoring the altered circulatory process closely and taking appropriate corrective action when abnormal situations arise. They're also accountable to the cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon or related physicians.
The role of the perfusionist in providing cardiovascular support has been historically outlined in broad terms, but is continually being redefined as trends in patient care and treatment are updated. The exact duties and responsibilities of a perfusionist are often dependent upon the particular institution where an individual works.
Canada has only three educational programs for the training of perfusionists. They're offered by the Michener Institute for Applied Health Sciences in Toronto; the University of Montreal; and recently the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Candidates accepted into a program have a Bachelors of Science Degree or higher or are practicing registered nurses or respiratory therapists.
The perfusionist is responsible for the operation and monitoring of those mechanical devices used in medical / surgical procedures requiring partial or complete cardiopulmonary bypass as well as other related support systems. The perfusionist requires specialized knowledge of extracorporeal physiology and mechanics (both adult and pediatric).
In addition to the application of cardiopulmonary bypass for open-heart surgery, a UHN perfusionist currently provides additional therapeutic services which include:
The perfusionist has developed the skills for all activities related to cardiopulmonary and myocardial perfusion equipment including selection, assembly, calibration, operation, sterilization and routine maintenance. They ensure quality assurance and minor repair of all related equipment, as well as its routine function and performance. They also test and evaluate new equipment for use.
The care and support of the patient in the operative and perioperative environments means regular interaction between the perfusionist and a variety of hospital staff and emergency service personnel. The continued care of the patient may involve the collaborative efforts of perfusionists with a variety of emergency service personnel outside the hospital setting.
During cardiopulmonary bypass the perfusionist has the responsibility to:
UHN is a work place where you will enjoy the unique challenges of your chosen field, create and engage in best practices, and you will be at the heart of facilities bringing the world new health care innovations.