Cardiogenic shock is a life-threatening condition in which the lungs
cannot oxygenate the blood adequately nor can the heart pump enough
blood to sustain life. It’s a dangerous complication with high mortality
in patients experiencing a massive heart attack. Devices that work to
temporarily perform the function of the heart and lungs are called
cardiopulmonary support systems. Often to be effective, they must be
connected to a patient quickly and by an experienced team.
Throughout Intermountain, we treat up to 700 patients in cardiogenic shock annually. In the past, some of these patients with
irreversible cardiogenic shock were treated at our four hub hospitals by the
cardiovascular team with five different support system devices. This meant
that if a patient connected to one device was transferred to a hospital using
a different device, that hospital’s team would have to splice together the
two devices or remove and change over to an entirely different device.
The Cardiovascular Clinical program collaborated with interdisciplinary
teams at these hospitals to identify and implement one support system,
CardioHelp®, to provide the best care as quickly as possible for these
critical patients. CardioHelp® is portable, effective, and designed for
rapid initiation. Moreover, all cardiovascular care team members in the
four hospitals are experienced in using this device, which when coupled
with rapid initiation, increases the patient’s likelihood to survive and
recover from such a life-threatening condition.
Andrea Duncan's Story
Andrea Duncan is a young mom. She had a week-old baby, had spent an enjoyable afternoon with her sister, and had just lain down for a nap.
She woke up, having difficulty breathing and heaviness in her chest. Andrea was having a heart attack. Her sister, still with her, called 911.
The expertise and quick responses from critical care teams at two Intermountain hospitals and the Life Flight crew, along with the assistance of the
CardioHelp® cardiopulmonary support device, kept her alive until she was able to receive a heart transplant. Andrea has made a full recovery.