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Unit information: Paediatric perfusion and circulatory support in 2019/20

Please note: Due to alternative arrangements for teaching and assessment in place from 18 March 2020 to mitigate against the restrictions in place due to COVID-19, information shown for 2019/20 may not always be accurate.

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Paediatric perfusion and circulatory support
Unit code SOCSM0014
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Biglino
Open unit status Not open




School/department Bristol Medical School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences


This unit will introduce the clinical problem of paediatric congenital heart disease. It will provide an overview of the genomics and epidemiology of congenital heart disease and describe the pathology of congenital heart defects and their complications. The surgical interventions currently used to correct heart defects will be outlined, including possible post-intervention complications. Additionally, strategies used for organ retrieval and protection will be described. Finally, emerging stem cell approaches for graft tissue engineering will be discussed. Having understood the clinical need knowledge of the use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) and circulatory support for these cardiovascular problems will be gained

Intended learning outcomes

  • Discuss the clinical problem, pathology, genomics and epidemiology of congenital heart defects.
  • Have a good understanding of the clinical methods currently used to correct heart defects.
  • Recognize cardio-protection strategies for surgery and perfusion
  • Critically evaluate diseases that contribute towards cardiothoracic disease.
  • Understand the immunological reaction of the body to bypass
  • Critically evaluate the use of advanced long term blood pumps and extracorporeal circuits.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of cardio, pulmonary and cardiopulmonary circulatory support.

Teaching details

  • Web-based and campus-based lectures, tutorials and practical demonstrations (in powerpoint-with recorded audio)
  • Online discussion forum(s)
  • Self-directed study
  • Face to face workshops

Assessment Details

Coursework (contributing a total of 60% to the unit) consisting of:

  • 5 sets of multiple choice questions (MCQs) of a simple format (e.g. select an answer from a short number of options, true/false), each contributing 5% to the unit, giving a total of 25%.
  • 1 essay (1500 words) contributing 20% to the unit.
  • 2 short answer question sets or extended MCQs, each contributing 7.5% to the unit, giving a total of 15%.

Please note that students will be given formative feedback on all coursework assessment.

Written exam (contributing a total of 40% to the unit and taken in Bristol) consisting of:

  • 1 essay paper contributing 20% to the unit.
  • 1 set of MCQs contributing 20% to the unit.

Reading and References

  1. Weismann CG, Gelb BD. The genetics of congenital heart disease: a review of recent developments. Curr Opin Cardiol. 2007 May;22(3):200-6.
  2. Cordina RL and Celermajer DS. Chronic cyanosis and vascular function: implications for patients with cyanotic congenital heart disease. Cardiology in the Young (2010), 20: 242-253.
  3. Albers EL, Bichell DP, McLaughlin B. New Approaches to Neuroprotection in Infant Heart Surgery. Pediatr Res. 2010 Jul;68(1):1-9.
  4. Crystal MA, Ing FF. Pediatric interventional cardiology: 2009. Curr Opin Pediatr. 2010 Oct;22(5):567-72.
  5. Apitz C, Webb GD, Redington AN. Tetralogy of Fallot. Lancet. 2009 Oct 24;374(9699):1462-71.
  6. ECMO: Extracorporeal Cardiopulmonary Support in Critical Care 4th Edition (5th Edition 2017)
  7. Reference Book for circulatory support to follow from Dr Chris Bowles