Our perfusion team will take care of your child's heart needs during surgery.
If your child needs open-heart surgery because of a congenital heart defect, our team of expert pediatric perfusionists, cardiovascular surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses and other health professionals work together to care for your child.
What is perfusion?
Perfusion refers to everything that is done to make sure your child’s circulatory (heart and blood) and respiratory (breathing) needs are being met during open-heart surgery.
During surgery, they will place your child on cardiopulmonary bypass using a heart-lung machine, allowing the heart and lungs to be stopped while the surgeon operates. The perfusionists work with the anesthesiologist and surgeon to closely monitor all vital life support functions during bypass.
Our perfusionist team is also responsible for providing long-term support of your child’s circulation after the operation is concluded.
Perfusionists also have expertise in:
- ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) – advanced cardiopulmonary life support
- Ventricular assist devices (VADs) and total artificial hearts for patients in heart failure
- Blood conservation during surgery to reduce the need for transfusions
- Neuromonitoring to protect and preserve brain function during cardiopulmonary bypass
Patients are not directly referred for perfusion services but receive this to support children's' hearts and lungs during surgery.
Meet our perfusionists: Your child’s heart is in expert hands
Christos Calaritis: Christos joined the faculty in our Children's Hospital Foundation Heart Center in 2018. He is a member of the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion, Canadian Society of Clinical Perfusion, American Society of Extracorporeal Technology, Extra Corporeal Life Support Organization, World Society for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery and American Academy of Cardiovascular Perfusion.
John Miller: John Miller is board certified by the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion and Canadian Society of Clinical Perfusion. He is a Fellow in Pediatric Perfusion and a Certified Perioperative Blood Management Specialist.