Sutter Medical Center Honored As Leader in Heart Recovery


November 6, 2008

November 6, 2008 - Sutter Medical Center in Sacramento, CA was selected earlier this week by Abiomed Inc. as a “Center of Excellence” (COE) for its cardiac program.

Abiomed grants the award to top institutions in the country for achieving outstanding clinical outcomes and their focus on recovery of the native heart, based on the amount of heart patients supported by the hospitals over a two-year period and the percentage of survival and recovery rates. As one of the six Abiomed COE’s in the U.S., Sutter Medical Center is the only hospital site in both the west and central areas of the country.

Abiomed, a provider of heart recovery products that provide circulatory support to acute heart failure patients, believes enabling the heart to rest, heal and recover can be accomplished by improving blood flow and/or performing the pumping function of the heart.

Under the leadership of Dr. Robert Kincade, cardiovascular surgeon with Sutter Heart and Vascular Institute, Sutter Medical Center, recently achieved COE status by treating 11 patients with an 83 percent recovery rate in two years, allowing patients to recover their native hearts fully with the Abiomed AB50000 system. As a valued COE, Dr. Kincade and Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento will share best practices related to VAD implantation and patient care with other hospitals and medical centers.

One of the patients, 14-year-old Austin Dang, was admitted to the Sutter Memorial Hospital Emergency Department on April 4, 2008, with acute symptoms of respiratory failure due to cardiogenic shock. The young patient was placed on the AB5000 BiVAD for 57 days of support and then returned home with his native heart. The alternate solution was a heart transplant procedure, which was prevented by quick deliberation from Dr. Kincade and his surgical team.

Dr. Kincade and his team also helped other patients to return home with their native hearts. A 47-year-old man with AMI shock, was supported on the AB5000 LVAD for 36 days. A 56-year-old woman with AMI shock who was supported by the AB5000 BiVAD for 10 days. A 57-year-old man with AMI shock who was supported by the AB5000 BiVAD for six days, and a 60-year-old man with AMI shock who was supported by the AB5000 BiVAD for eight days.

“Surgery and cardiology have the same goal – to maximize clinical outcomes for our patients. In the surgery suite, I need a longer-term option focused on the goal of heart recovery, which the AB5000 provides,” said Dr. Kincade. “The AB5000 enables my team to provide support for cases that need longer time periods to recuperate, with a better outcome for my patients - a fully recovered heart.”

Abiomed’s VAD AB5000 is FDA approved to provide temporary support for one or both sides of the natural heart in circumstances where the heart has failed, giving the patient's heart the opportunity to rest and potentially recover -- and giving surgeons the therapeutic flexibility necessary to determine the best endpoint for treatment. The AB5000 recently received FDA labeling approval of one-year bench reliability, allowing doctors the confidence to support patients for longer periods of time in order for their hearts to fully recover.

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