Carbondale hospital now using 'world's smallest heart pump' | Community Spirit
CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - Cardiologists at Prairie Heart Institute are using the world’s smallest heart pump to make processes with heart medical procedures easier and shortening recovery times for patients.
Officially, the Impella 2.5 is a percutaneous cardiac assist device. The tiny pump is inserted into the aortic valve of the heart through a long catheter inserted in the patient’s groin. Once in the heart, the pump, which is just a few millimeters wide, pumps blood at the rate of 2.5 liters per minute from one side of the heart to the other.
“The pump basically temporarily offloads the heart from having to do the work,” said Interventional Cardiologist Raed Al-Dallow of Prairie Cardiovascular Consultants in Carbondale. “It is a support device used while surgeons do other procedures which are a permanent solution.”
Procedures requiring the heart pump are performed in the catheterization laboratory at Memorial Hospital of Carbondale, the only facility in Southern Illinois using the Impella 2.5.
“This device has added another degree of success to our STAT Heart program,” Al-Dallow said. “Our ability to safely do complex treatments and potentially avoid open heart surgery is greater because of this device.”
He says the pump is used in a variety of circumstances.
“Most often we place it in the patient while we do very complex, high-risk stent procedures,” he said. “While you place stents there are a few seconds where you stop the blood flow in the coronary arteries and if you don’t have this pump, then during that time the heart could be in trouble, but with it, we can perform the procedure safely.”
He said the pumps also can be used in emergency situations.
“If a patient comes in and they’re in a condition of cardioechogenic shock—basically an acute failure of the cardiac function—we can place the pump and it effective does the job of the heart while we gather the surgical team,” he said.
Additionally, cardiologists use the pump to help patients recovering from heart attacks.
“It takes the heart somewhere between 24 and 72 hours to recover and during that time the pump basically does half of the job of the heart,” he said. “In this manner, we call it a bridge to recovery.”
Al-Dallow said the pump can be placed in less than 5 minutes and doctors at Memorial have completed about 100 insertions in the last year.
“It is quicker to use and somewhat safer than surgical procedures, as well as more effective than balloon pumps,” he added.
He adds that the pump’s minute size is a real benefit.
“When we utilize devices that are inserted through the groin area in a manner similar to a cardiac catheterization procedure, the smaller the device, the less risk there is for the patient in terms of bleeding or causing injury to the blood vessel,” he said. It’s a very small pump, but it is very efficient. It is so small, yet it is making a big difference.”
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