The Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute of Northwestern Memorial Hospital recently implanted a patient with two of the smallest experimental ventricular assist devices (VADs) currently available for study in humans. VADs are designed to assist either the right (RVAD) or left (LVAD) ventricle, or both (BiVAD) at once. This is the first time that two Heartware™ VADs have been implanted in the left and right ventricles anywhere in North America—a “game changer” in the realm of heart assist devices according to Patrick M. McCarthy, MD, chief of the hospital’s Division of Cardiac Surgery and director of the hospital’s Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute.
Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute
The American Heart Association estimates that an average of 300,000 people die every year from heart failure—and roughly 10,000 of them qualify for heart transplant. Due to lack of donor organs roughly only 2000 cardiac transplants are performed each year. Assist devices such as the ones Armstrong received are becoming an increasingly important therapy to help individuals with advanced heart failure.