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Heart Consult

What are the complications with Heart Lung machine?

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During an open heart surgery or coronary artery bypass surgery, operating with a beating heart is difficult for the surgeon. In such procedures, CPB (Cardio pulmonary bypass) is used, which takes over the circulation of the blood as well as its oxygenation. It takes care of both the function of the heart as well as the lungs. The CPB pump is also called as the heart lung machine, which functions as an extracorporeal circulation. 
 
Though the CPB or the heart lung machine aids a blood-free surgical field under hypothermic condition of the body; it comes with a lot of complication and also carries a few risks. Some of the complications involved are as follows.
 
Clotting of the blood. The small clots of blood presents in the machine can enter the blood stream which can result in stroke or embolism. 
Air embolism
Post pericardiotomy syndrome which is a post operative febrile condition triggered due to an inflammatory reaction involving the pleura and pericardium. 
Post operating Bleeding 
Capillary Leak syndrome
Hemolysis (Breakdown of the Red Blood Corpuscles). 
About 1.5% of the patients are at risk of developing Acute respiratory Distress syndrome