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High-Tech Pump Does What Her Heart Can't

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high-tech pump does what her heart can't

leonor ortiz childers' heart is too weak to keep her alive.

a recent cancer survivor, she cannot even get on the heart transplant list until 2012, when she would be cancer-free for five years.

what has kept the 46-year-old durham mother of four alive for the past year is a small pump implanted in her upper abdomen that does the work her heart cannot. without it, she would die.

the pumping device, only conditionally approved by the u.s. food and drug administration, is supposed to buy time before a heart transplant, but it has worked so well that some think it might be an alternative to transplant.

I believe the article is talking about the Heart Mate II. This device is becoming popular in my area as it appears to be Mayo Clinic's (Phoenix) LVAD of choice. Additionally, the number of people on destination therapy with these devices is increasing.

ghillbert, MSN, NP

Specializes in CTICU. Has 20 years experience.

Yes, it's definitely the Heartmate II. It is okay, but the results so far with some of the newer devices are even better - no abdominal pocket required. Hopefully HM2 will be approved soon and we can do away with the HM1 dinosaur altogether.

I was surprised to read that her controller failed twice already and required switching out - that's pretty uncommon.

Yes, it's definitely the Heartmate II. It is okay, but the results so far with some of the newer devices are even better - no abdominal pocket required. Hopefully HM2 will be approved soon and we can do away with the HM1 dinosaur altogether.

I was surprised to read that her controller failed twice already and required switching out - that's pretty uncommon.

Yeah, we have yet to have any failure related to the device hardware that I know of in my area. The only problems I know of were related to compliance issues or post surgical and medication complications such as dehydration and bleeding. In fact, the new devices are so reliable, they no longer have the manual hand pump in the event of device failure.

highlandlass1592, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 13 years experience.

The HM II has received approval. We aren't planning on doing anymore XVE's because of this.

There was a recent spat of controller failures due to software issues..we had to switch out many controllers until all the older controllers were upgraded...we went thru this a couple of months ago.

ghillbert, MSN, NP

Specializes in CTICU. Has 20 years experience.

The HM2 is not approved for DT, only bridge to transplant. XVE is still the only approved DT device (although it should be soon).

There is no handpump because it's a continuous flow device, not because it's more reliable. Unless you swung a magnet around in circles (!) there's no way to handpump a rotary pump.

The HM2 is not approved for DT, only bridge to transplant. XVE is still the only approved DT device (although it should be soon).

There is no handpump because it's a continuous flow device, not because it's more reliable. Unless you swung a magnet around in circles (!) there's no way to handpump a rotary pump.

I have to disagree. True, it is a continuous flow device; however, the design of the HM II had enhanced functional life, ease of use, and sound reduction in mind. Therefore, I still say that the newer generation devices are inherently more reliable.

I wish this had been offered to my GF when he was dying of CHF. I'm going to find out why it wasn't.

I wish this had been offered to my GF when he was dying of CHF. I'm going to find out why it wasn't.

Sorry for your loss.

A plethora of contraindications and cautions exist for LAVD placement. Many patients are not good candidates for this therapy.

ghillbert, MSN, NP

Specializes in CTICU. Has 20 years experience.

I have to disagree. True, it is a continuous flow device; however, the design of the HM II had enhanced functional life, ease of use, and sound reduction in mind. Therefore, I still say that the newer generation devices are inherently more reliable.

Oh, I absolutely agree that rotary pumps are more reliable than volume displacement pumps, if only because of less moving parts and bearing wear. Particularly the clunky XVE....!!

I just meant that's not why there's no handpump - that's a function of the actuating mechanism.

jamonit

Specializes in retail NP. Has 6 years experience.

As a former HMII nurse at said establishment, often device patients can add quantity to their lives...at what cost? I hate to pee in the cheerios on this one, but I predict VADS are the next vents. :(

ghillbert, MSN, NP

Specializes in CTICU. Has 20 years experience.

What do you mean, at what cost? Financial, or other? We certainly do not merely implant to extend life, but to improve it. There are some ugly ones, as there are with any therapy but if anything, the patient selection process and learning curve are ensuring better and better results. The outcomes definitely depend heavily upon the expertise and judgement of the implanting centers as well as the existing infrastructure to support it, though.

I don't know what you mean by "the next vents" - heart failure is the leading cause of hospitalization and increasing.. VADs are getting better and better and not going away (I hope - that's my job right there! ;) ).

What do you mean, at what cost? Financial, or other? We certainly do not merely implant to extend life, but to improve it. There are some ugly ones, as there are with any therapy but if anything, the patient selection process and learning curve are ensuring better and better results. The outcomes definitely depend heavily upon the expertise and judgement of the implanting centers as well as the existing infrastructure to support it, though.

I don't know what you mean by "the next vents" - heart failure is the leading cause of hospitalization and increasing.. VADs are getting better and better and not going away (I hope - that's my job right there! ;) ).

I tend to agree. People with LVADS have a chance to go home and live a happy and productive life. Will they be deep sea diving and running Boston marathons, most likely not. However these people can have a semblance of normalcy. If anything, I suspect VAD's could become the next pacemakers or AICD's if technology continues to progress.