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Student Centre

Cardiovascular Perfusion - Placement Opportunities

Cardiovascular perfusionThe cardiopulmonary bypass machine (heart-lung machine) is used to support the normal functions of the heart and lungs during open-heart surgery. This delicate balance between life and death has been made possible by a unique group of high skilled and knowledgeable health care providers; the cardiovascular perfusionist. The profession of Cardiovascular Perfusion was established in 1957.

The perfusionist is responsible for all aspects of cardiopulmonary bypass for the duration of the entire operation and therefore must be able to sustain long periods of intense concentration and vigilance. The perfusionist must collaborate throughout the entire procedure with the cardiovascular surgeon and anesthetist to ensure the safe execution of these surgical procedures. Although, operating the cardiopulmonary bypass machine is the perfusionists’ prime role, they also provide a number of other services including, but not limited to; circulatory support (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, intra-aortic balloon pump), blood conservation (cell salvage), auto-transfusion, clinical teaching and research.

Cardiovascular Perfusion Student Program

St. Michael's is a Canadian Medical Association accredited training site for clinical perfusion students from The Michener Institute of Applied Health Sciences. Annually we receive two to three students in various phases of their clinical training. One staff member is delegated as the clinical coordinator but all perfusionists are responsible for training and evaluating these students.

Contact us

St. Michael's Hospital
Fifth floor main OR
Toronto, ON, M5B 1W8
Phone: 416-864-5753