Perfusionists are skilled health professionals, trained and educated specifically as members of an open-heart, surgical team responsible for the selection, set-up, and operation of a mechanical device commonly referred to as the heart-lung machine. The perfusionist is responsible for operating the machine during surgery, monitoring the altered circulatory process closely, taking appropriate corrective action when abnormal situations arise, and keeping both the surgeon and the anesthesiologist fully informed.

In addition to the operation of the heart-lung machine during surgery, perfusionists often function in supportive roles for other medical specialties by operating mechanical devices to assist in the conservation of blood and blood products during surgery and providing extended, long-term support of the patient's circulation outside of the operating room environment.

The Board of Registration of Perfusionists is charged with evaluating the qualifications of applicants for licensure and granting licenses to those who qualify. It establishes rules and regulations to ensure the integrity and competence of licensees. The Board promotes the public health, welfare, and safety by insuring that licensed Perfusionists have proper training and experience through a degree program and meet the minimum requirements set forth by the Board.

This information is provided by the Division of Health Professions Licensure within the Department of Public Health.