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Chalk in the prime.
  1. H Yeo,
  2. T Doyle,
  3. R Saynor,
  4. G H Smith


    After observations of cloudiness in the perfusion circuit at open intracardiac operations, laboratory experiments showed a precipitate in a Hartmann's solution (compound sodium lactate solution, Ringer-lactate) and sodium bicarbonate based priming fluid used for cardiopulmonary bypass. The precipitate was found to consist of calcium carbonate crystals. The crystals were not dissolved by adding plasma proteins, nor were they sufficiently cleared from the extracorporeal circuit by a 40 microns filter in the arterial line. The crystals may embolise in microvascular beds and thus be a cause of postoperative morbidity. The practice of adding sodium bicarbonate to the pump prime may be unnecessary.

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