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AmSECT Sets Standards, Creates Guidelines for Extracorporeal Technology

By Susan Eymann, MS24 Aug 2020

The American Society of ExtraCorporeal Technology (AmSECT) was founded in 1964 to foster improved patient care and safety by providing perfusionists with the education they need to stay abreast of developments in the area of extracorporeal circulation technology.

The number of perfusionists (those that operate the heart-lung bypass machine during open heart surgery) grew rapidly as open-heart surgery became widespread. AmSECT members image(1)now number 4,000 members in the United States. Approximately 250 new perfusionists join these ranks in the U.S. each year. However, over the past decades, many open heart procedures have been replaced with less invasive ones forcing perfusionists to identify new opportunities and expand their practices to include perioperative blood management, wound healing, ventricular assistance, and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).

One of AmSECT’s primary goals is the development and creation of professional standards and guidelines for perfusion. To that end, they have recently collaborated with a team of perfusions, headed by Professor Jeffrey Riley of Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY to develop and administer a standardized 100-question test for certification as an ECMO specialist. 

Moreover, their guidelines serve as a useful framework for teams developing institution-specific protocols to improve the reliability, safety and effectiveness of extracorporeal support services. For instance, their 2019 Standards and Guidelines for Pediatric and Congenital Perfusion Practice 7:13 states, “Arterial blood flow shall be monitored continually at a point in the CPB circuit where it accurately reflects the flow delivered to the patient during CPB (eg distal to intra- circuit shunts).”  This underscores the value of measuring circuit flow continually with a Transonic Clamp-on Tubing Flowsensor.

Other AmSECT goals include:

  • National support of licensure through government relations;
  • Increasing the scope of practice of perfusionists; 
  • Developing national continuing education programs; 
  • Supporting educational programs for entering perfusionists;
  • Disseminating scientific knowledge through publication of the Journal of ExtraCorporeal Technology and its bi-monthly newsletter AmSECT Today.

To bring perfusionists together and to foster continuing educations, AmSECT sponsors a number of conferences, online webinars and symposia throughout the year. Upcoming events include the following:
Myocardial Protection and Resulting Post Bypass Blood Conservation on Wednesday August 12 (https://www.perfusion.com/product/essentialwebinar/);
an ECLS Team Symposium on Friday, October 16th at the University of Nebraska (https://www.unmc.edu/cce/catalog/clinicmed/ecls2020/index.html);
a Nashville Perfusion Conference  on Saturday, October 24th (https://www.nashvilleperfusionconference.com)
and a ANZCP Annual Scientific Meeting on Wednesday, November 11 in Sydney, Australia (https://anzcp.org/2020-conference/)




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