Vacuum-assisted venous drainage (VAVD) is widely used to enhance venous blood return from patients undergoing cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB). This vacuum can accidentally reach the oxygenator of the heart-lung machine and draw gas bubbles into the blood. This is known as bubble transgression (BT) and may cause air emboli in the arterial blood line. In order to avoid BT and minimize the risk of patient injury, knowledge of oxygenator tolerance to vacuum load is critical. Thus, the main aim of this thesis was to investigate how much vacuum a membrane oxygenator can withstand before BT appears.
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