Medical Definition of Heart-lung machine

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Heart-lung machine: A machine that does the work both of the heart and of the lungs: pumping and oxygenating blood. Blood returning to the heart is diverted through a heart-lung machine before being returned to arterial circulation. Such machines may be used during open-heart surgery. Also known as pump-oxygenator or cardiopulmonary bypass machine.

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Last Editorial Review: 1/24/2017

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