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Meet Martin, one of our Perfusionists...
What does your job involve?
I operate the heart lung machine during heart operations - diverting blood away from the heart and lungs in order for the surgeon to correct the heart defect. The heart lung machine takes over the function of the heart and lungs for the duration of the procedure to ensure that the child's oxygen and metabolic needs are met. During the operation it is my job to continuously monitor both the blood and the heart lung machine in order to ensure that the blood is in the best possible condition prior to being pumped back into the patient.
Why did you choose this job and the Heart Centre?
I'm from England originally and I came to Australia for a year, where I got a job at the Children's Hospital at Westmead. I liked the environment and the people and decided I'd stay on a bit longer. I then trained as a Perfusionist and wished to continue my work with children. An opportunity came up to work in the Heart Centre and I jumped at the chance.
So... after coming to Australia for one year, I'm still here 10 years, 1 wife, and 4 children later!
What is the best part about your job?
I personally think the most enjoyable part of being a perfusionist is when, towards the end of a child's heart operation, we slowly reduce the contribution the heart lung machine makes towards the child's circulation and can see the repaired heart taking over the job it was intended to do.
What is one thing people might not know about you?
There is nothing I enjoy more that sitting down on a Sunday afternoon and watching a couple of Laurel and Hardy movies.... pure bliss.