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Medical Intern (Cardiac Surgery)

Haermonics is a start-up focused on improving cardiac surgery. Our team is young and dynamic, comprising cardiac surgeons and other specialists. Our mission is to make cardiac surgery cleaner and safer. And to achieve this, we need you! Every year, around 740 patients lose so much blood after undergoing heart surgery that they must return to the OR for an unnecessary reoperation. Dave Koolbergen, congenital cardiac surgeon at the Amsterdam UMC, AMC and the LUMC, has developed and researched a method – the Continuous Postoperative Pericardial Flush (or CPPF) – which reduces blood loss and more.

The research

After heart surgery, it is normal for the internal wound to bleed a bit. To prevent blood from pooling in the pericardium, drains are typically installed to evacuate this blood. However, in some cases, these drains become clogged with blood clots. If this happens while the internal wound is still bleeding, blood will build up in the pericardium, causing pressure in the pericardium to rise and preventing the heart from being able to fill with blood. If this happens, there is a tamponade, which requires a reoperation to resolve.

The challenge for the surgeon is to coagulate as much of the bleeding as possible at the end of the surgery. In many cases, the internal wound is rinsed with NaCl 0.9% just before closing up the sternum. The idea is that by flushing out the toxic substances and activated blood residues, the body’s immune system is less stimulated. Based on this principle, Dave Koolbergen has developed a method in which the pericardium is flushed with 0.9% NaCl for a few hours following heart surgery. As our studies up until now demonstrate, this results in less blood loss and fewer reoperations.

For the current study, the flushing method will be performed with a newly developed, automated investigational Medical Device (ID). The ID will regulate the inflow and warming of the flushing fluid, as well as record pericardial pressure and blood loss. The primary focus will be on the effect of the flushing on the number of reoperations.

For this study, we are looking for a medical student to participate in the FLUID trial, part of the CPPF project. You would work under the supervision of an assistant cardiac surgeon at the Antonius Hospital in Nieuwegein. Working with 2-4 other participating research centres, the aim of the study is to:

  • Collect data on the effectiveness of the flushing process
  • Validate the Investigational Device (ID)
  • Research the cost-effectiveness

Candidate profile

  • 2nd year (or higher) medical student
  • Affinity with cardiac surgery
  • Affinity with innovation and technology
  • Solid English writing skills

What we offer

  • Possibility to observe cardiac surgery in the OR
  • Possibility to deepen your understanding of cardiac surgery and statistics
  • Experience with multicentre clinical research
  • Opportunity to contribute to a scientific publication
  • Internship rate of €10/hour

If this sounds interesting to you or you have any questions, please get in touch with Wanda Meijst by emailing her at meijst@haermonics.com or by calling 06 51412459.