Our artificial heart program offers advanced therapies including ventricular assist devices (VADs, or heart pumps) and total artificial hearts. We have been one of the most active centers in conducting research, testing investigational devices and extending lives for the past 20 years.
Devices at Our Center
Our program offers the following devices:
- HeartMate II (Left Ventricular Assist Device)
- HeartWare HVAD (Left Ventricular Assist Device, Investigational, Destination Therapy Only)
- CardioWest Total Artificial Heart
- Thoratec PVAD (Paracorporeal Ventricular Assist Device)
- Impella (Catheter-Based Assist Device)
- Temporary Centrifugal VADs (used alone and in Cardiopulmonary Support)
- Destination Therapy: Our program is certified by the Joint Commission and CMS to implant left ventricular assist devices in patients who will rely on them for the remainder of their lives. This permanent therapy, called Destination Therapy, has been heavily researched by our program for the past decade, making us a leader in selecting appropriate patients and in following their care after implantation.
- HeartMate II: Our program is certified to implant the HeartMate II left ventricular assist device and was a leading center in implanting this device during clinical trials. The HeartMate II device was recently FDA-approved for Destination Therapy in January, 2010.
- HeartWare HVAD: Our center is certified to implant the HeartWare HVAD in Destination Therapy patients as part of a clinical trial.
A Leader in Artificial Heart Research
We have participated in more than 15 device trials. Our program (then located at LDS Hospital) was the lead enrolling center for a pivotal LVAD trial called REMATCH. FDA approval of permanent LVAD therapy for advanced heart failure was based on the results of this trial, which demonstrated that patients supported by a first generation LVAD had better survival and quality of life than patients treated with traditional medical management.
Since that study, our program has significantly improved patient outcomes by applying our multidisciplinary approach to patient care. In addition, a team of LVAD Nurse Coordinators and Biomechanical Engineers manage patient care and education, following patients from their initial work-up until the conclusion of MCS therapy.
Educating Our Patients and Their Communities
We also focus on returning our patients to homes and communities that are equipped to provide for their healthcare. This cannot be done without providing extensive training on LVADs to our patients, their families, their community physicians and hospitals, emergency medical systems, and emergency response teams. Over the last five years, we have provided over 600 community outreach trainings in locations covering nine states.
24-Hour Coverage to Our Patients
After patients return home, we continue to provide 24-hour coverage to them and their local providers. One of our five VAD coordinators is available by phone at every hour of every day. Even though our patients are independent and living at home, our team stays very connected to their care and well-being.