VAD Aids Heart Failure Patients Who Are Poor Surgical Candidates


January 21, 2010

The HeartMate II, a continuous-flow, left ventricular assist device (VAD), received an additional FDA indication to support severe heart failure patients who are not acceptable candidates for heart transplantation.

The HeartMate II is already FDA-approved for use in patients awaiting further, more complex treatment, such as transplants.

HeartMate II consists of a small, lightweight blood pump implanted in a patient's chest just below the heart. An electrical cable that powers the blood pump passes through the patient's skin to an external controller worn around the patient's waist.

A physician designates the pump's speed based upon clinical need. The device is designed to sound an alarm upon malfunction or other potentially drastic changes that could impact the pump's operation.

The new indication was cleared in January 2010.

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