Vacuum-assisted venous return in pediatric cardiopulmonary bypass

Berryessa, R.; Wiencek, R.; Jacobson, J.; Hollingshead, D.; Farmer, K.; Cahill, G.
January 2000
Perfusion;Jan2000, Vol. 15 Issue 1, p63
Academic Journal
Vacuum-assisted venous return (VAVR) has been reported to offer benefits for adults undergoing cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB), such as improved venous return, lowering priming volume (by eliminating the need to prime the venous line), and the use of smaller venous cannulae. All these benefits would be of particular value in pediatric perfusion because of the unique challenges of these smaller patients and the relatively large components of the CPB circuit. We have been using VAVR in children since the early summer of 1998 after we became comfortable with the technique and convinced of its efficacy in adults. Ours is a medium-sized pediatric caseload of slightly more than 100 CPB cases per year. With that caseload, it is most effective for us to minimize the inventory of different sizes of disposables used. We have opted for an oxygenator/reservoir that has a maximum flow of 4 liters with a priming volume of about 1 liter. We have been unhappy with the large prime volume in infants and earlier, in 1997-1998, were using a smaller prime oxygenator/reservoir until it was recalled. Faced again with a larger priming volume in the infants, we decided to try vacuum to decrease hemodilution and to evaluate other possible benefits. Through the use of VAVR, we have been able to decrease our priming volume, use smaller venous cannulae, and have more consistent return while experiencing no adverse effects of VAVR in our pediatric cardiac surgery patients.


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