“This is a great achievement for the medical community and, most importantly, for the patients who have benefited from this life-restoring treatment option.”
Last week we covered some problems relating to Thoratec Corporation’s Left Ventricular Assist Device, but this week the company is reminding us just how much its products have contributed to patients suffering from advanced heart failure (AHF) with the revelation that, as of April 2012, clinicians have implanted more than 10,000 HeartMate II® Left Ventricular Assist Devices (LVADs).
The HeartMate II is a small implantable mechanical device that helps circulate blood throughout the body. Sometimes called a “heart pump” or “VAD,” it is designed to supplement the pumping function of the heart for patients whose hearts are too weak to pump blood adequately on their own.
For individuals with AHF, the heart has difficulty pumping blood and is unable to supply the body with adequate levels of oxygen. As a result, AHF patients feel tired or weak, even when doing simple things, like walking or eating. The use of an LVAD, such as the HeartMate II, is considered an appropriate treatment option in cases of AHF. Studies have shown that patients treated with an LVAD can live longer and enjoy a much-improved quality of life compared with those being treated with drug therapy alone.
HeartMate II has been extensively studied, both in clinical trials and in commercial, real-world experience, and has been FDA cleared as well as gaining international regulatory approval to support advanced heart failure patients.
HeartMate II may be used to support patients either while they wait for a donor heart to become available or as a permanent, long-term therapy. For patients eligible for a heart transplant, usage of HeartMate II is known as “Bridge-to-Transplantation” (BTT). Utilization of the device with the intent of permanent, long-term support is known as “Destination Therapy” (DT). In either situation, without the option of an LVAD, AHF patients have poor prospects for survival and significantly limited lifestyles
“Every year, millions of people worldwide develop chronic heart failure, and many will progress to an advanced, debilitating stage of the disease,” said Gary Burbach, President and Chief Executive Officer of Thoratec. “Today, we recognize the more than 10,000 individuals who have been implanted with HeartMate II – the device that is setting the standard for proven, long-term support of advanced heart failure patients. I want to congratulate and thank everyone involved for contributing to this milestone event. This is a great achievement for the medical community and, most importantly, for the patients who have benefited from this life-restoring treatment option.”
Source: Thoratec Corporation, PR Newswire