The FDA has approved the HeartMate II, a mechanical assist device which can be used as a destination therapy for patients suffering from heart failure or a bridge therapy to heart transplantation. The new mechanical assist device is smaller and has fewer moving parts than previously available devices. The reduced size allows physicians to implant it into smaller patients, women and even teenagers.
Where other mechanical assist devices use pressurized are to move blood around the body, the HeartMate II uses a small turbine, like a screw and is expected to last longer than previous devices A patient with a HeartMate II must be connected to an energy source at all times.
Dewey Smith thought he was sick. When the 61-year-old Council Bluffs, Iowa man drove himself home from work one morning in February, he didn’t realize he was quickly dying. “I don’t remember calling 911,” said Smith. “By the time I got to the hospital, my heart had stopped – I had no pulse.” Dewey Smith is alive today after receiving a HeartMate II.
Sybil Jackson received life-changing news that she was in congestive heart failure. Heart failure is a progressive disease that typically does not get better. Jackson's doctors at The Nebraska Medical Center suggested she have a mechanical assist device implanted to buy her time until a donor heart became available for a heart transplantation