ISSN : 1301-5680
e-ISSN : 2149-8156
Turkish Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery     
Akif Ündar, *Ali Ekber Çiçek, Atıf Akçevin, **Tayyar Sarıoğlu
Penn State College of Medicine, Penn State Children Hospital, Departments of Pediatrics Surgery and Bioengineering, Pennsyvania
*VKV. Amerikan Hastanesı, Kalp Damar Cerrahisi Kliniği, İstanbul
**Acıbadem Bakırköy Hastanesi, Kalp Damar Cerrahisi Kliniği, İstanbul
Background: The objectives of this investigation are: to determine the level of education and experience of perfusionists in Turkey; and to suggest potential solutions for the improvement of the quality of perfusion during open-heart surgery in Turkey.

Methods: We have conducted a preliminary survey on perfusionists during the VIII. Annual Congress of the Turkish Society of Cardiovascular Surgery on September 1-5, 2004, in Kapadokya, Turkey. The following questions are included in this survey: What highest level of education they do have. Where and how do they receive the perfusion education. In what hospital/university do they currently work. What is the total number of CPB cases performed in their centers in 2003? What level of experience do they have with ECMO or VADs (with centrifugal or roller pumps).

Results: Thirty-one perfusionists from 25 cardiovascular centers completed the survey. One of the perfusionists was excluded from the final analysis because she practices in another country. The remaining 30 perfusionists had no diploma from any school of perfusion, and all of them became perfusionists with in-house training from their peers. One out of 30 perfusionists has a Master’s degree; 11 of them graduated from 4-year college with a Bachelor’s; 12 of them graduated from 2-year colleges; and 6 of them have a high school diploma. Seven of 30 perfusionists have over 15 years experience in perfusion, 8 of them between 10 to 15 years, 9 of them between 5 to 10 years, and 6 of them have less than 5 years of experience in cardiovascular perfusion. 18.258 CPB cases were performed in 24 cardiovascular centers in 2003. 17.123 of them were adult CPB cases, and 1.135 were pediatric CPB cases. Out of 18.258, only 17 patients were subjected to ECMO, and 11 patients to LVAD or RVAD in 2003. ECMO was available in 6 centers and LVAD or RVAD was only in 4 centers. 18 centers use IABP routinely.

Conclusions: In order to improve the knowledge and skills of perfusionists, it is mandatory to open academic departments to formally train perfusionists in Turkey. It is also a must to organize 1 to 2 day seminars on ECMO and VAD to train current perfusionsists as soon as possible.

Keywords : Education of perfusionists, CPB, ECMO, VAD, Turkey
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