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VAD Draws Varied InterestVAD Draws Varied Interest

Originally Published MDDI November 2004NEWSTRENDS

November 1, 2004

2 Min Read
VAD Draws Varied Interest

Originally Published MDDI November 2004


The inserts are made from a woven polyester material.

Erik Swain

Cardiologists and cardiac surgeons are finding a number of uses for a percutaneous left ventricular assist device (VAD), beyond even what the manufacturer was expecting.

The CardiacAssist Inc. (Pittsburgh) TandemHeart Percutaneous Transseptal Ventricular Assist (PTVA) System recently has been used in 100 U.S. patients (and 300 worldwide). The system received FDA approval last year. Through a minimally invasive cardiac catheterization procedure, it helps restore blood flow for patients with acute heart conditions. This gives the heart a chance to heal well enough to withstand the stress of surgery, or at times eliminates the need for surgery. In addition, it can save vital organs.

A palatal implant helps prevent airway blockage and reduces vibration that causes snoring.

“The worst action is to perform surgery when the patient isn't ready,” says Michael Garippa, CardiacAssist's president and CEO. “Conventional ventricular assist devices can often lose money for providers, because of the high morbidity and mortality associated with the devices and the extensive surgical procedure to implant them. Implanting these expensive devices in haste can be an inefficient way to run a practice, but there hasn't been a solution until now.”

The TandemHeart solution consists of a pump, a cannula family, and a controller. The pump pulls oxygenated blood from the left atrium and puts it into systemic arterial circulation. The percutaneous cannulae connect the pump to the heart via two points in the groin. The controller provides power and lubricant to the pump, an alarm, and a monitoring system.

One application that clinicians have taken to using the TandemHeart system for, says Garippa, is “restoring flow and stabilizing the critical patient. It gives them a chance to evaluate the patient's condition and determine the best course of treatment, instead of rushing into surgery. And, not only can it stabilize the patient, it can help avoid multiple-organ failure through improved perfusion that results from the increased blood flow.”

The same system components can be used to treat acute heart failure or cardiogenic shock, during high-risk surgery and other risky interventions, and as a bridge to transplantation or to an implantable ventricular assist device.

Copyright ©2004 Medical Device & Diagnostic Industry

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