Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville’s new heart device
April 4, 2014 | Jacksonville, FL
Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville has new equipment in place for helping patients who undergo certain heart procedures.
The Impella ventricular assist device is a catheter-based heart pump that can be used to ensure blood flow during cardiac procedures or for emergency patients requiring circulatory support.
The device provides temporary circulatory support and reduces the workload of the heart muscle.
“It’s a special heart pump that allows blood to be pumped from the heart to the body so the heart can rest,” said Marc Litt, MD, cardiologist and director of the Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville Catheterization Lab. “This helps support patients through coronary procedures and interventions and makes them a lot more stable so we can work on them and do more complex procedures.”
The Impella 2.5, considered the World's Smallest Heart Pump, can be inserted by way of a standard catheterization procedure through the femoral artery.
Once positioned in the left ventricle, the device delivers peak blood flow of 2.5 liters per minute.
According to Abiomed, Inc., the self-contained motor drives the "Impeller" at 50,000 revolutions per minute, which in turn drives forward blood flow to support the heart and the rest of the body. The Impella 5.0 can be inserted into the left ventricle and provides up to five liters of flow per minute.
The pump can be used to help rest the heart during certain procedures or for a longer period of time to allow the heart to improve while the patient recovers.
If a person has a large amount of blood vessel territory to work on, for example, the pump will allow the body to maintain its normal flow or close to it while the cardiologist is working on the arteries, Dr. Litt said.
“It is close to what a normal heart will pump with every beat,” Dr. Litt said. “A balloon pump, on the other hand, pushes blood down coronary arteries, but doesn’t pump blood to the whole body.”
“We are thrilled to be able to offer this service,” Dr. Litt added.
Getting the device in place, Dr. Litt said, was a collaborative effort with cardiology, heart and vascular surgeons, including cardiothoracic surgeon Robert Still, MD; cardiothoracic surgeon Don Cousar, MD, chief of Thoracic & Cardiovascular Surgery for Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville and chief of staff-elect; vascular surgeon Erin Moore, MD, and cardiologist Bernardo Utset, MD.