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Harlingen Medical Center Offers Community Education About World's Smallest Heart Pump

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Harlingen Medical Center Offers Community Education About World's Smallest Heart Pump

Harlingen – If you suffer from heart disease – you may be at risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke. If you suffer from advanced heart disease and require the re-opening of arteries, blocked because of plaque buildup, known as percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI), your heart may not be strong enough to survive the procedure. But, advanced medical technology is changing that! Harlingen Medical Center, one of the leading heart hospitals in South Texas, is educating healthcare providers, medical students, and the community-at-large, on just how that technology is doing it. The nationally recognized and award-winning hospital will host The Impella® Mobile Learning Laboratory, from Abiomed, on Friday, November 20, 2015, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., at its parking lot.

Abiomed's Impella® Mobile Learning Laboratory is a 90-foot, state-of-the-art, education facility designed to afford knowledge regarding the world's smallest heart pump, Impella® 2.5 Catheter. Product experts will be on hand to offer hands-on-experience demonstrations, host casual learning discussions, offer self-guided learning and short presentations about the Impella®.

"We are pleased to welcome Abiomed's Impella® Mobile Learning Laboratory to Harlingen Medical Center. The Impella® 2.5 Catheter has assisted our interventional cardiologists, in the past, offering our patients advanced, effective clinical care. And, the results have been amazing," said Brenda Ivory, President and Chief Executive Officer at Harlingen Medical Center. "The mobile learning laboratory now gives us the opportunity to share, with our community, how advanced technology is saving their lives, right here, at home."

The Impella® 2.5 Catheter is a temporary ventricular (heart chamber) support device, which essentially takes on the role of the heart's left chamber, which is to draw blood and pump it into the aorta, the main blood vessel leading away from the heart that supplies oxygen-rich blood to the body. It too helps reduce the risk of complications during and after a percutaneous coronary intervention.

 Impella® Mobile Learning Laboratory staff members offer demonstrations to attendees as they offer information on the use and function of the world’s smallest heart pump, the Impella® 2.5 Catherer.

Caption: Impella® Mobile Learning Laboratory staff members offer demonstrations to attendees as they offer information on the use and function of the world’s smallest heart pump, the Impella® 2.5 Catherer.

Those patients who are most likely to require use of the Impella® 2.5 Catheter include:

  • A patient who has complex coronary artery disease (CAD), i.e. multi-vessel disease, left main disease
  • A patient who is advanced in age
  • A patient who with diabetes
  • A patient with a history of chest pain
  • A patient with other diseases of the blood vessels in the body
  • A patient who has chronic heart failure

"This is an extraordinary tool in that our high-risk patients now have a higher success rate when having to undergo a percutaneous coronary intervention," said Deborah Meeks, Chief Nursing Officer at Harlingen Medical Center. "This tool is improving the outcomes for our patients and our results show it."

"Interventional Cardiologists, here, welcome the support of the Impella® 2.5 Catheter, because it allows the heart to rest during a percutaneous coronary intervention procedure, which reduced the heart's workload and prevents the heart from being overstressed by the procedure as coronary artery blockages are repaired," said Linda Bull, Director of the Catheterization Laboratory at Harlingen Medical Center. "And, equally important, it maintains the blood flow and blood pressure during the procedure."

The use of the Impella® requires specialized training and the talent of experienced cardiologists. Before the procedure, the interventional cardiologist places the heart pump inside of a catheter (long narrow tube). The catheter is then inserted into one of the larger arteries, usually in the leg, and then is guided through the patient's arteries and into the left ventricle (left heart chamber). Once in place, an external controller and monitor turns the pump on and off, measures the heart function, and allows healthcare providers to adjust the pump as necessary to maintain stable heart function and circulation during the procedure.

The Impella® Mobile Learning Laboratory features:

  • HARVI Station: interactive cardiovascular physiology and hemodynamics simulation
  • Animation/Quick Skills Station: product animation and quick skills videos
  • AIC Setup Stations: hands-on practice with the automated Impella® Controller
  • Position Simulator Stations: visualize Impella® placement using simulated fluoroscopy, echocardiography, and augmented reality
  • Position Simulator Stations
  • Insertion Simulator Station: perform simulated Impella® Catheter placement
  • Hands-on Accessories Station: hands-on access to Impella® products and system components

For more information regarding The Impella® Mobile Learning Laboratory visit to Harlingen Medical Center, contact Manny Chacon, Director of Business Development and Marketing at 956-365-1848.

About the Cardiovascular Center at HMC

The Cardiovascular Center at Harlingen Medical Center is paving the way for progressive treatment of patients from South Texas, and beyond. The award-winning and nationally recognized hospital specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease. It features a top-ranked heart team that 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.