International Perfusion Association


Mastering the Best Practices: A Comprehensive Look at the European Guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Bypass in Adult Cardiac Surgery

The successful outcome of a cardiac surgery procedure is significantly dependent on the management of cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB). Even if a cardiac operation is technically well-conducted, a patient may suffer CPB-related complications that could result in severe comorbidities, reduced quality of life, or even death. However, the role of clinical perfusionists in perioperative patient care, which is critical, is often overlooked. Therefore, the European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery (EACTS), the European Association of Cardiothoracic Anaesthesiology (EACTA), and the European Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion (EBCP) have agreed to develop joint clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) for CPB due to its significant impact on patient care and significant variations in practice patterns between countries. The European guidelines, based on the EACTS standardized framework for the development of CPGs, cover the entire spectrum of CPB management in adult cardiac surgery. This includes training and education of clinical perfusionists, machine hardware, disposables, preparation for initiation of CPB, a complete set of procedures during CPB to help maintain end-organ function and anticoagulation, weaning from CPB, and the gaps in evidence and future research directions. This comprehensive coverage ensures that all aspects of CPB management are addressed, providing clinicians with a standardized approach to CPB management based on the latest evidence and best practices. To ensure better integration of these evidence-based recommendations into daily practice, this review aims to provide a general understanding of guideline development and an overview of essential treatment recommendations for CPB management.

Keywords: EACTA; EACTS; EBCP; adult cardiac surgery; cardiopulmonary bypass; evidence-based medicine; guidelines; recommendations.

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