The Geat Britain and Ireland perspective: current perfusion safety issues, preparing for the future

J W Mulholland
Perfusion 2005, 20 (4): 217-25
The Great Britain and Ireland (GBI) recommendations for standards of monitoring and alarms during cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) came into force in January 2004. While perfusion departments in Great Britain and Ireland should now have a good baseline level of safety, it is important that department-specific safety is also considered. Patient safety is paramount, but safety within our speciality must also take into account the protection of the perfusionists' health and the protection of their careers. These different aspects of safety are fundamentally interrelated. This paper focuses on the importance of careful assessment, implementation and documentation when a new component or technique is being introduced to the CPB circuit, even when the aim is to increase safety. Knowledge of the civil justice system and the trends in medical negligence claims are an integral part of perfusionist safety. Perfusion in Great Britain and Ireland is rightly striving for professional recognition from the Health Professions Council (HPC). As we raise the profile of perfusion, we educate more people about the importance of our role and level of responsibility within the cardiac operating team. This will increase the potential for medical negligence claims to be directed specifically at our speciality. All these issues are discussed in detail.


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