The reason why I’m asking you this question is because lots of people don’t know about this kind of job. Some of them in Italy, confuse the word perfusionist with percussionist because the words are very similar to each other. But I’m not a musician. I am chief technician of perfusion in the cardiac surgery of Rome Hospital.
The perfusionist is a highly trained member of the cardiothoracic surgical team which consists of cardiac surgeons, anesthesiologists, physician assistants, surgical technologists, and nurses. A perfusionist, is a specialized healthcare professional who uses the heart-lung machine during cardiac surgery to manage the patient's physiological status and keep the patient alive when the heart is stopped. The open heart surgery, in fact, requires that the heart to be stopped and so my job is to ensure blood circulation and oxygenation through the heart-lung machine. The perfusionist's main responsibility is to manage the metabolic needs of the cardiac surgical patient which has a great effect on his systemic condition. Other responsibilities include autologous blood collection and monitoring of anticoagulation, electrolyte, acid-base balance and blood-gas composition. I have the patient's life in my hands and even a little mistake can be fatal. In some hospitals, perfusionists are also key personnel in placing and managing patients on long-term cardiac assistance as bridge to heart transplantation and supporting patients receiving lung or liver transplants. At the beginning my job required a long training and it still needs to be continuously updated. To achieve my goals I had to make many sacrifices like to get up early in the morning, be called in emergency even at night, studying every day. It’s a very hard job with great responsibility, but I prefer this kind of work to a desk job
My next goal is to sell my license for a medical device that I invented and patented. That’s all.