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Contact: Liz Estera
Phone: 315 464-4401
Email: esterae@upstate.edu

August 2010

Scott Alexander

Scott Alexander has been the Chief Perfusionist at Upstate University Hospital for the past twenty-three years. In his role as perfusionist, Scott is a member of the cardio-pulmonary team that operates the heart-lung machine during cardio-pulmonary bypass surgery. Essentially, he controls the machine that keeps a patient alive by pumping and oxygenating their blood and delivering important medications.

When asked what he enjoys most about his profession, Scott replied, “This is a very gratifying role. I have the opportunity to take care of patients and work alongside a great team of nurses, scrub technicians and physicians. I appreciate the diversity of our group and the differences we bring to the team. Everyone has a specific role and does a fine job. I also enjoy the academic aspect of my position. For the past twenty years, I’ve had the pleasure to train students in cardiovascular perfusion and this has given me the opportunity to remain on top of the latest cutting edge technology. University Hospital is one of the few training centers for cardiovascular perfusion and our program is the third oldest in the United States. People from all over the country come here to train.”

In his spare time, Scott enjoys spending time with his wife and four children, woodworking, and stays active by cycling. As expressed by Scott: “All perfusionists have learned first hand how important it is to lead a healthy and active lifestyle. Our role requires endurance, mental acuity and for us to remain focused. Essentially, perfusionists are the substitute for a patient’s heart and lung. We work in place of the patient to keep them alive. We sometimes encounter emergency situations in which we have to provide patients with round-the-clock ECMO (treatment via heart-lung machine). Last year our team of perfusionists provided emergency care to a gravely ill 14 year-old patient suffering from severe heart and lung dysfunction. The team provided more than 100 continuous hours of ECMO care and the patient recovered successfully from this critical situation. Taking care of patients in such critical circumstances is very rewarding."

Scott, we appreciate you and your team of perfusionists for the extraordinary work you perform daily. Thank you for your many contributions and dedication to our patients and Upstate.