When your child needs open heart surgery, many parents do not realize that an unsung clinical specialist is required to support the life functions of the patient while the surgeon is operating on the heart. This specialist is known as a Perfusionist. A Perfusionist is a person, qualified by academic and clinical education, to operate the extracorporeal circulation equipment (for example, the heart/lung machine) during any medical situation where it is necessary to support or replace your child’s cardiopulmonary, circulatory, or respiratory function.
Under the supervision of an attending physician, a perfusionist is responsible for the selection of the appropriate equipment and techniques necessary for life support or supplementation of the cardiopulmonary and circulatory system of your child, including the safe monitoring, analysis, and treatment of physiologic conditions. All of Lurie Children’s perfusionists achieve a high standard of care by maintaining Board certification by the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion and licensure by the State of Illinois.
Our Experienced Cardiac Perfusionists
Offering more than 40 years of collective pediatric perfusion experience, our Heart Center perfusionists are:
Bradley Kulat, CCP, LP, FPP Coordinator of Perfusion Services
Mr. Kulat has been a perfusionist at Lurie Children’s for 31 years. Mr. Kulat is very active in the perfusion community and currently serves as the President of the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion (ABCP) and has served on the ABCP Board of Directors for the past 10 years. Mr. Kulat is also a Director for the Accreditation Committee for Perfusion Education (AC-PE), and serves on the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), as a perfusion school site inspector. Mr. Kulat has also cofounded a non-for-profit local perfusion educational organization, The Chicagoland Perfusion Foundation, where he serves as its President. Mr. Kulat has presented lectures at numerous national and international conferences regarding his team’s published experience in bypass circuit miniaturization, pediatric perfusion techniques, pediatric VAD applications, and in minimizing exposure to banked blood during congenital cardiac surgery.