Does contemporary oxygenator design influence haemolysis?

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Based on their design, all membrane oxygenators generate a certain resistance to flow. In clinical practice, this resistance is calculated by measuring both blood flow and the pressure drop over the oxygenator. Historically, some designs, such as the Kolobow spiral coil oxygenator and the Cobe flat sheet oxygenator, had quite a high pressure drop, but were, nevertheless, considered very haemocompatible. Today, both medium and low pressure drop oxygenators are commercially available. Based on physics and the existing literature, this review aims to investigate whether pressure drop by itself can be considered an independent factor of haemolysis.

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