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Some consider it a fact that use of hyperoxia on cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) has negative effects on patient outcome by increasing the danger of oxygen toxicity or reperfusion injury. This belief has become a ‘sacred cow’ among many perfusionists. However the manipulation of oxygen on CPB can be used to the patient’s benefit. Hyperoxia can be beneficial in one situation and detrimental in another as can normoxia. It is incumbent upon the perfusionist to understand the need for the manipulation of oxygen concentration and master the techniques needed to provide the patient with the greatest benefit. A ‘one size fits all’ approach to oxygenation strategy, be it normoxia, hyperoxia, or something in between can rob the patient of the benefits that the free range of oxygen manipulation, from high to low, can provide. Oxygen Pressure Field Theory conceptualizes the manipulation of oxygen concentration such that the perfusionist can understand the mechanics of microvascular gas exchange.

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.

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