Perfusion Partners - Perfusion Leaders

Strengthening and Connecting the Perfusion Community

Perfusionists are the heart of the operation.

Career Development
Perfusion Research
Career Opportunities
Leadership Training

As you navigate your career in perfusion, let this resource be the fulcrum you turn to for additional news, guidance, and tips for the field. Here, we will examine the lives of other perfusionists, map out the goals of the career itself, and celebrate continued advancement towards quality care. Perfusionists must have the right state of mind to be responsive to emergency situations that arise in the operating room, and this will be another important resource that promotes your personal health and success as a perfusionist. 

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Advocating for Perfusion

It is important to bring awareness to perfusion as a vital medical service and an excellent career choice. Perfusionists play an essential role in today’s medical practice. Their extraordinary contributions provide valuable assistance and save thousands of lives every year. 

Staffing Trends 

  • There are 4,522 certified perfusionists 
  • Approximately 44.3% of the workforce are older than 50 years 
  • Over 300 people leave the workforce every year 
  • There are approximately 200 new graduates every year
  • There is a current perfusionist shortage of nearly 100 clinicians

Perfusion in Practice

There are three different types of perfusion: cardiopulmonary bypass, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, and isolated limb perfusion. When perfusion services are performed, there are necessary steps taken across all areas, including:

  • Pre-operative equipment inspection 
  • Circuit setup and prime 
  • Ancillary support 
  • Communications 
  • Intra-operative initiation of emergency bypass 
  • Post-operative 
  • Reporting and continuous improvement

Education and Certification 

There are seventeen accredited perfusion programs in the United States. A bachelor’s degree is required to enroll in any program, which includes two years of classroom studies accompanied by hands-on clinical training. After you complete a perfusion program, you can work until you obtain your certification. Some states require a license to practice, while others do not. 

To obtain your perfusion certification, you must complete a minimum of seventy-five assisted CPB procedures at an accredited academic medical center followed by two board exams. Once you pass the second board exam, you can become a certified clinical perfusionist (CCP). If you complete an additional forty independent CPB procedures, you’re eligible to forego the second exam.

History of Perfusion


Bubble Oxygenation

Bubble oxygenation is invented and a closed-circuit system for perfusion was developed.


Perfusion Evidence

Evidence found that perfusion caused the arms of the deceased to become briefly responsive.


Charles Lindbergh

Charles Lindbergh identified how to keep human organs alive during surgery.


John Gibbon

Successful experiment on an isolated animal organ with their brand new perfusion pump. John Gibbon began developing a heart-lung machine and an oxygenator was developed that could replace the oxygen output of the human heart.


Heart-Lung Machine

A heart-lung machine is used for the first time on a human and the first total cardiopulmonary bypass is completed.


Extended Perfusion

Developments in the heart-lung machine allowed perfusion for more extended periods of time.


Standard Practice

Bubble oxygenator was created and became the standard of practice.


Membrane Oxygenator

The membrane oxygenator replaced the bubble oxygenator.