ECLS & Emergency Departments

Editor’s Note: A colleague of mine, Michael, asked me during a conversation if there was any information out there regarding the increased frequency or use of ECLS systems throughout the emergency departments in hospitals across the US.  Interestingly enough, I find myself later in the day, monitoring one of these devices in vivo. Below is […]

Impella Induced Hemolysis

Editor’s Note: A brief note on observed rising K+ levels when an Impella is in place.  If you see a drop in the HCT as well (that exceeds predicted hemodilution from crystalloid infusions) it is possible that there may be a slight malposition of the impella device.  This isn’t always necessarily the case, but hemolysis may be a […]

IABP 101: Preparation and Insertion

Bill– showing us the guidewire and dilator coming together… Editors Note: This is a three part series- “IABP 101” designed to simply refresh or introduce the basic concepts of applying diastolic augmentation for the high risk cardiac patient.  Again, some of the concepts here will seem to be fairly rudimentary for a seasoned perfusionist, but […]

IABP 101: Refresher FAQ

Editors Note: This is a three part series- “IABP 101” designed to simply refresh or introduce the basic concepts of applying diastolic augmentation for the high risk cardiac patient.  Again, some of the concepts here will seem to be fairly rudimentary for a seasoned perfusionist, but if it’s your first day in a perfusion program- […]

The IABP: “Say Hello to our Leettle Friend…”

Increased Afterload Editor’s Note: Although the distance between Perfusion and IABP’s has increased over the years due to smarter consoles, auto-timing features, training of Nursing and Cardiac Cath lab personnel, every once in awhile you find yourself at a clinical site that relies more heavily on perfusionists as a resource for Intra-aortic Balloon Pump therapy. So […]

Starting Your Impella Program: 101

Editor’s Note: I was talking to a fellow colleague, Renee- and we were discussing the different steps associated with implementing an Impella program into the cardiovascular program where she is chief.  The obvious immediate issues are training, staff education, doing the prerequisite number of cases prior to becoming a certified site for this technology, and […]

Perfusion Innovation! Kudos to Quick Thinking

The arrows point to key components that helped make this all work… Editor’s Note: The above picture was posted on the “Surfers FB page, with some caption’s (see below) describing briefly, an event (ruptured RA) post CPB while closing.  I was impressed with the simplicity of the setup and it’s obvious effectiveness. The quest remains- where […]

Unexpected Air: An ECMO Discussion

Editor’s Note: I was on FB and was visiting the Malaysian Perfusion Page, monitoring a discussion regarding venous air entrainment in an ECMO circuit, and the efforts made to save the patient.  This a true emergency, and with a closed system, much more difficult to resolve. The discussion however is what captured my interest because […]

Why We Do This: LVAD_one 2009 Days +

“So yes, we engage hope and strive to do our best, but our vision for this patient’s future is sometimes less than vibrant- for the reasons stated above.  Many of us have become LVAD pessimists.” 2009 days x 24 hours x 60 minutes = 2,892,960 minutes of life support… Editor’s Note: I think there is a tendency […]

CARDIOHELP: An In-Service for MD’s, Perfusionists, & Nurses

Click Image to visit CARDIOHELP website Editor’s Note: We are looking at a new system to integrate into our ECMO program, and today we had an in-service from MAQUET, who owns, distributes, and supports the CARDIOHELP ECLS system. This was a 3.5 hour in-service designed to educate physicians, perfusionists, and nurses.  It was offered for three […]

PICU Nursing: Honing Your ECMO Skills

Editor’s Note: So I was @ Women’s & Children’s Hospital – here in West Texas, doing some platelet gel cases, when I decided to drop by the PICU to visit friends I hadn’t seen in awhile. The PICU staff was pretty thin- so I asked where everybody was- and found out they were conducting an ECMO wet […]

Letters To ‘Surfers: On The Relevancy of IABP Therapy…

Editor’s Note: Was just going through some mail and stuff- and saw a few comments that I thought were interesting and would like to share. Please respond in the comments section of this post… Frank = Various questions on the relevancy of IABP Therapy = Hi Frank, = = My name is Rahul Barwal. I […]

Plz Take This Survey: The impact of Influenza on Your ECMO Program for 2013-2014

  The impact of Influenza on Your ECMO Program for 2013-2014 Can you please take this short eight question survey on the impact of the recent influenza season on your ECMO program. We will share the results. Click link below to take this survey: = Thank you. David Palanzo, CCP, LP Penn State Hershey […]

Roundworms & ECMO ? Any Advice, Experience, or Literature?

Editor’s Note: I got an email from a perfusion colleague regarding the impact (if any) of roundworms on the oxygenator for an ECMO run. Please help?  Any information- please forward to the comments section of this blog post, my email, or  Amanda’s email who is running the ECMO. Very much appreciated 🙂 Hey Frank, Do […]

The Avalon Bi-Caval Dual Lumen Catheter

Have you used a percutaneous venous cannula like this? The AVALONELITE :  Bi-Caval Dual Lumen Catheter (Click image to visit website) A Discussion on Cannula Positioning Proper cannula positioning in single site veno-venous extracorporeal life support (vv-ELS) is cumbersome and necessitates image guidance to obtain a safe and stable position within the heart and the […]

And Then Comes Sunday …

24 Hours… of ECMO New Beginnings   (To view the entire “Day In The Life” series Click Here) Jesse Shipman struggles to do a stretch during a therapy session with occupational therapist Megan Taylor at TrustPoint Hospital in Lubbock, Texas Tuesday, June 12, 2011. (Miranda Grubbs/ Lubbock Avalanche-Journal) To view the entire “Day In The […]

H1N1- ARDS- & ECMO (Current Literature)

Editors Note: A big thank you to Marianne Veir Pilger, CCP, and her colleague John @ Meriter Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin for helping out so quickly and hooking us up with the below listed articles on ECMO management for ARDS and H1N1. This is something we are all facing- so I hope it helps. Again- […]

VAD’s & Device Availability List

A ventricular assist device (VAD) is a mechanical circulatory device that is used to partially or completely replace the function of a failing heart. Some VADs are intended for short term use, typically for patients recovering from heart attacks or heart surgery, while others are intended for long-term use (months to years and in some […]

A Marvelous VAD Presentation from China

For every ACTION, there is an EQUAL and OPPOSITE REACTION. This theory impacts life’s varied circumstances, the CAUSE and EFFECT implication… Author / Editor: Co-Editor Anna Lou Villena 🙂 [10] Editor’s Note: This is an extraordinary PowerPoint presentation regarding VAD technology.  It is an eye-opener and definitely well worth viewing. Click image above to view […]


Click images to enlarge Editors Note: I got an email from my overseas friend, Dario Fichera, an Italian perfusionist that is very involved in the international perfusion community. (Dario has been involved in perfusion mission work to Africa .) Below are some pictures of a mobile ECMO (Street ECMO) emergency aid station that the Italians […]