New Technology Keeps Hearts Pumping In The OR, In The Air, Or In An Ambulance
NACOGDOCHES — Emergency service personnel in Nacogdoches and Shelby Counties now have another small but powerful tool on their side to help save lives when seconds count. Nurses, physicians, EMS personnel and air transport flight crews gained hands-on training with the new Impella® Heart Pump recently at an on-site education offered by the hospital. The device is designed to provide blood flow support when a patient's heart is unable to produce sufficient cardiac output on its own.
The Impella provides temporary cardiac support during procedures such as high-risk heart catheterizations (caths) with balloon or placement of stents, open-heart surgery, and shock procedures following a heart attack and can keep blood flowing to the patient’s vital organs until the heart recovers and resumes its normal function.
The tiny pump is inserted through an incision in the patient’s groin and travels through the abdominal aorta, the biggest blood vessel in the body, up into the left ventricle of the heart.
The pump takes over pumping the majority of the heart during procedures, such as stenting and balloon angioplasty, which open coronary arteries, narrowed or blocked due to severe coronary artery disease. The pump allows cardiologists to maintain blood flow to the brain, kidneys and other vital organs while they address the patient’s cardiac blockages.
Attendees received in-depth classroom instruction and participated in a Cath Lab simulation of an Impella device insertion. They also took part in the simulated loading of patients for transfer.
Mark Burgess, RN, Director of Emergency, Critical Care Services and Vascular Imaging, said, “Ensuring that Regional EMS transport teams are proficient in transporting patients from NMC who have had an Impella device placed will benefit Deep East Texas for years to come.”
“Heart disease is a growing problem with almost half of adults in the U.S. today living with some form of cardiovascular disease,” Burgess said.
“We’re proud to be equipped with this new tool and ready to provide a higher level of care to our cardiac patients, most of whom are fragile because of their acute conditions,” Burgess said. “The Impella allows us to act quickly, precisely and safely so our patient’s hearts can continue functioning properly during procedures or while en route to surgery. It’s an accomplishment for our team and our community,” he said.