We have now reached the point where it is time for the Society and its membership to review the Recommendations for Standards of Monitoring During Cardiopulmonary Bypass. This edition of Perfusionist contains an invitation from the Terms and Conditions Sub-committee for you to put forward your views on how this document could be modified in terms of enhancing patient safety. This is an opportunity for perfusionists to have a say in the way they work and the way they are assessed when the College carries out its unit accreditation visits. In this last respect, while some may feel that controls need to be tighter, others may suggest that some of the existing recommendations are asking too much of individual units in return for questionable clinical benefit. For example, is it universally believed that continuous in-line monitoring of serum potassium and paCO2 is an indispensable tool for the majority of cardiopulmonary bypass procedures, quite apart from the fact that many of us do not possess the capacity for this by dint of the equipment in which our individual units have invested?
This month we also publish reports from two Birmingham-based members who have recently enjoyed trips that have broadened and updated their perfusion knowledge base. Trainee Joseph Hughes was one of the NESCOT party that recently spent a day observing oxygenator and tubing pack manufacture at Chalice Medical’s headquarters in Nottinghamshire, while Hina Solanki has provided us with a detailed account of her attendance at the annual perfusion congress in San Diego. We welcome both of these offerings and encourage all members to think of us when they are considering writing up their perfusion sorties, both home and abroad.
Last year’s Congress Discussion Session on post-cardiotomy support resulted in our discovering not only that ventricular assist ECMO is a technique that is gaining in popularity in many units, but also that a large number of UK perfusionists feel that they need more specialised training if they are to be in a position to provide this service effectively and safely. Accordingly, we publish details of an ECMO course that is to be held in Bristol in June. Even if you have been told, as we have in Oxford, that the post-implantation management of these patients will be the responsibility of specialist ECMO nurses, I am sure that there will be much to be gained from attending this course, regardless of the manner in which individual units are planning to manager their programmes.
Finally, Angela Lilley from the Meetings and Seminars Sub-committee has used this edition to issue her first call for abstracts for the 2013 Congress in Manchester. It goes without saying that Angela will be more than relieved if she is able to finalise her scientific programme sooner rather than later and not endure the headaches experienced by many of her recent predecessors as they approached the weekend of the meeting with gaping holes still to fill.