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The frequency of central nervous system (CNS) complications in patients after cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) correlates to the type of surgery. Extended time on CPB increases the risk of emboli as does the actual cardiotomy where the heart chambers are opened to the atmosphere. Even when there is no outward appearance of CNS damage, asymptomatic brain infarctions occur in 18% of all CPB patients. The emboli can be atherosclerotic, thrombotic or gaseous. The gaseous emboli are the most common and numerous and the only type that the perfusionist can actively modify to reduce their threat.

Perfusion Theory is an educational platform for the Oxygen Pressure Field Theory (OPFT). August Krogh’s theoretical concept of the oxygen pressure field is explained and then applied to clinical applications in perfusion practice.