An apparatus is described for taking over the functions of the human heart and lungs for short periods of time to permit a surgeon to perform certain open-heart surgical procedures in a blood-free field. This equipment is capable of receiving venous blood from the patient, removing excess carbon dioxide and restoring the proper oxygen content, and finally of pumping the blood back into the patient's arterial system. The heart-lung apparatus is provided with controls that automatically maintain the pH of the blood at its correct value, maintain proper blood temperature and safeguard the patient against unwanted changes in blood volume and against excessive blood pressure during the course of the operation. The machine requires the attention of only two persons during normal surgical procedures.
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