HaysMed Cardiologist Using New Device for Heart Attack Patients
( Hays, Kansas) – HaysMed cardiologist Dr. Byungsoo Ko is now using a new device to treat heart attack patients whose hearts aren’t strong enough to sustain traditional open heart surgery. The Impella, which is the world’s smallest heart pump, allows cardiologists to perform percutaneous coronary intervention (opening up the blockage in the heart arteries with stents) in patients whose heart function is not strong enough to withstand heart surgery. This percutaneous (being placed without requiring any surgery) heart pump can also be used in patients with a life threatening condition called “cardiogenic shock”, meaning the patient is dying from an acute heart (“pump”) failure.
“This is the only FDA approved device that can be used in this sickest of the sick patient population with a rapidly failing heart” said Dr. Ko.
Inserted through a groin artery, the Impella pumps the blood from the heart into the aorta (the big artery that comes out of the heart) thereby helping the pumping function of the weakened heart. It can pump as much as 3.5 liters of blood per minute (more than half of how much a health heart can pump) to provide extra blood flow to important organs such as brain or kidneys to protect any irreversible damage.
“Now we have a heart pump that can be inserted within 15 minutes in cardiogenic shock patients either from a heart attack or from heart failure. Furthermore, we can use the device in patients with blockages in the heart but whose heart function is too weak to withstand an open heart surgery.” Said Ko.
Within a couple of weeks of the launch of the program, two patients have benefited from this device. Both patients had very weak hearts and were too sick to undergo surgery. With the help of the device and the expertise of the cath lab staff and anesthesia, both patients’ blockages were successfully opened with stents.
“I am very grateful to HaysMed’s commitment to provide a full cardiovascular service to people in Western Kansas.” Said Ko. “Many patients will benefit greatly from this device”