Perfusion – What is Perfusion


Medical Definition of Perfusion

Perfusion is the passage of fluid through the circulatory system or lymphatic system to an organ or a tissue, usually referring to the delivery of blood to a capillary bed in tissue. Perfusion is measured as the rate at which blood is delivered to tissue, or volume of blood per unit time (blood flow) per unit tissue mass. The SI unit is m3/(s·kg), although for human organs perfusion is typically reported in ml/min/g. The word is derived from the French verb “perfuser” meaning to “pour over or through”. All animal tissues require an adequate blood supply for health and life. Poor perfusion (malperfusion), that is, ischemia, causes health problems, as seen in cardiovascular disease, including coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular disease, peripheral artery disease, and many other conditions.

Tests verifying that adequate perfusion exists are a part of a patient’s assessment process that are performed by medical or emergency personnel. The most common methods include evaluating a body’s skin color, temperature, condition (dry/soft/firm/swollen/sunken/etc), and capillary refill.

During major surgery, especially cardiothoracic surgery, perfusion must be maintained and managed by the health professionals involved, rather than left to the body’s homeostasis alone. As the lead surgeons are often too busy to handle all hemodynamic control by themselves, specialists called perfusionists manage this aspect. There are more than one hundred thousand perfusion procedures annually.

What Is A Perfusionist?

A perfusionist is a highly trained specialist that operates the cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) system, also known as the Heart-Lung Machine. The perfusionist is also involved in many other extracorporeal, or outside of the body, therapies like ECMO and AngioVac.

Perfusion Education Library

World’s largest website for perfusion and clinical perfusionists. Over 200 free video courses for perfusionists – Visit

Perfusion Video Library


Perfusion Podcast

PerfWeb Podcast Series
Host — Joseph Basha,CCP
PerfWeb is a site designed for the busy perfusionist by scheduling regular ABCP category 1 CEU live programming. These programs are scheduled throughout the month and year to accommodate perfusionists schedules on a global scale.

PerfWeb Journal Club Podcast Series
Host—Tammy Sparacino, CCP
Tammy Sparacino’s Journal Club is a review of selected published, peer reviewed articles and a description of the article subject and the authors’ conclusions. The program includes other peer reviewed articles that are germane to the topic of the reviewed article.

PerfWeb Knowledge Nuggets Podcast Series
Host—John Ingram, CCP
John Ingram’s Knowledge Nuggets is a faced pace 15 minute review of a selected subject, approved for ABCP category 1 CEU. Knowledge nuggets topics range from medications, devices, techniques, transfusions, legal and more.

You can listen perfusion podcast – Perfusion Podcast