Industries & Professions /
Although perfusionists, formerly known as cardiovascular perfusionists, are not well known to the general public, they play a crucial role in the field of cardiovascular surgery. They operate what is known as the "heart-lung machine." The perfusionist is responsible for all aspects of the heart-lung machine whenever it becomes necessary to interrupt or replace the functioning of the heart by circulating blood outside of a patient's body. There are approximately 4,000 perfusionists employed in the United States.