A medical device used in open heart surgery to support the body during the surgical procedure while the heart is stopped. It is also referred to as a "cardiopulmonary bypass pump" as it is used during cardiopulmonary bypass surgery.
The heart-lung machine consists of a chamber that receives the blood from the body, which is normally the responsibility of the hearts right atrium. This chamber temporarily holds the blood before it is diverted to oxygenater and pumped back throughout the body.
Technicians monitor the heart-lung machine carefully during surgery for changes in blood temperature, oxygen content, and the pump pressure. The temperature of the chamber containing the blood will slowly be raised near the end of surgery to restore the normal human body heat to the patient.