The word "perfusion" means the pumping of blood via the blood vessels into the organs. During surgery, machines are used to replicate this pumping to keep the patient alive.
A cardiovascular perfusionist also gives medicine and blood products during surgery. He also controls the temperature of the patient.
Besides helping keep the patient alive during surgery, cardiovascular perfusionists have other duties, such as training technicians, buying supplies and managing a team of specialists.
In order to become a perfusionist, you must become a Certified Clinical Perfusionist. In order to receive this certificate, you must go to school and complete 75 perfusions during that time.
The average salary for a cardiovascular perfusionist in 2003 was $65,000 per year.
A cardiovascular perfusionist is someone who runs the equipment during procedures such as open heart surgery. She is responsible for ensuring that the equipment helps support both the cardiovascular and respiratory systems during surgery.