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World's Smallest Heart Pump Arrives at Harlingen Medical Center To Help Save Lives

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World's Smallest Heart Pump Arrives at Harlingen Medical Center To Help Save Lives

Harlingen – Harlingen Medical Center (HMC), one of the leading heart hospitals in South Texas, has just acquired the world's smallest heart pump and is now offering renewed hope to critically ill patients who have suffered heart failure or heart attack.

The nationally recognized and award-winning hospital is now offering heart patients the Impella® 2.5 Catheter, from maker Abiomed, Inc. The tiny heart pump, a Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) housed inside a catheter, can be inserted through an artery in the leg, moved up toward the chest, and placed inside the heart within a few minutes. The catheter is built to specifically pump the left chamber of the heart.

"The Impella® 2.5 Catheter is an intravascular microaxial blood pump that supports a patient's circulatory system when the heart is too weak or damaged to function normally," said Brenda Ivory, RN and Chief Executive Officer at Harlingen Medical Center. "This small heart pump replicates the natural function of the heart by supporting the heart's main chamber. This is a great clinical advancement for our heart patients who have an immediate need for further cardiac care."

The Impella® 2.5 Catheter can help save the lives of patients, who require urgent cardiac attention, simply by performing its main function, pumping blood. According to Abiomed, Inc., the tiny heart pump creates a vortex moving blood from the heart and out into the rest of the body, thus providing increased cardiac output.

"The Impella® 2.5 Catheter will benefit our heart patients by supporting function of the heart muscle, allowing for further treatment such as an angioplasty or stenting procedure to open blocked coronary arteries," said Linda Bull, Director of the Catheterization Laboratory at Harlingen Medical Center. "The Impella® 2.5 Catheter is helping us save lives by providing our patients the temporary cardiac support needed to ensure optimal care."

"The [Impella® 2.5 Catheter] provides our patients with an advanced treatment option that can be performed in our catheterization laboratory unlike most ventricular assist devices that require surgery to be implanted," said Ivory. "It is a significant medical breakthrough to be able to implant the Impella® 2.5 using a minimally invasive approach."

The Catheterization Laboratory at Harlingen Medical Center will be home to the Impella® 2.5 Catheter procedure. The heart team at HMC includes Interventional Cardiologists' Hugo Blake, MD; Michael Evans, MD; Eduardo Flores, MD; Juan Joel Garza, MD; Shereef Hilmy, MD; Frank Mazzola, MD; and, David Yardley, MD. The physician group has a support team of highly skilled technicians, nurses and staff at HMC.

According to Ambiomed, Inc., Harlingen Medical Center's Catheterization Laboratory is the only one in the City of Harlingen utilizing the new Left Ventricular Assist Device and adds to the fast growing number of healthcare facilities that are committed to optimal heart recovery.

About the Heart Program at HMC

The Heart Program at Harlingen Medical Center is paving the way for progressive treatment of patients from across South Texas, and beyond. We specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease, and our top-ranked heart team provides minimally-invasive diagnostic testing and treatment, as well as advanced cardiac and vascular interventions, such as angioplasty, stenting, cardiac ablation, open heart surgery, minimally invasive heart valve repair and replacement, and coronary artery bypass graft.

To learn more about this program and Harlingen Medical Center, log on to our website