Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

History is made with first small left ventricular assist device implant for young patient

27.03.2014

“Today, we’re going to make history,” said 18-year-old Eric Ramos on the day UT Southwestern Medical Center doctors operated on his ailing heart.

Eric, who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, is one of only three patients in the United States with the condition to receive a battery-operated left ventricular assist device (LVAD) to keep his weakening heart pumping blood through his body. He is the first patient in the country to be given a specific, smaller LVAD, which means doctors would not need to manipulate his diaphragm, which could compromise his already limited pulmonary function.


Dr. Pradeep Mammen, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine in the division of cardiology, holds the same LVAD, Eric Ramos has to help keep his heart pumping blood through his body.

Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a recessive X-linked form of the disease, affects around 1 in 3,600 boys. Diagnosed at age 6, Eric has used a wheelchair for the past seven years because his muscles, including his heart and lungs, are rapidly degenerating. Nevertheless, Eric has the heart of a champion. He views his latest challenge as an “unreal accomplishment” and says he is honored to be part of history, paving the way for other Duchenne patients with advanced heart failure.

Lead surgeon Dr. Dan Meyer, Professor of Cardio Thoracic Surgery and Director of Mechanical Assist Devices, says it took a team to pull Eric through this historic feat. “We had cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, LVAD coordinators, neurologists, pulmonologists, social workers, nutritionists, and a host of nurses and others excited to be a part of this unique opportunity,” Dr. Meyer said. “Delivering advanced medical care to patients like Eric is something you can only do at an institution like UT Southwestern, where we have the experience and the specialized care to perform higher-risk surgeries that other hospitals would not even entertain.”

The decision to operate, however, was not easy. The team members recognized the severity of the situation, but they were put at ease the moment they met Eric. A senior in high school, Eric spends his free time playing video games, tinkering with computers, and hanging out with his friends, just like most teenage boys. But Eric exudes maturity well beyond his years.

“We could see that Eric is a vibrant young man, despite the fact that he is bound to a wheelchair,” Dr. Meyer said. “The tough part was making sure we would increase his quality of life and that undergoing surgery was worth the risks.”

Because of his faith, Eric says he was cool, calm, and collected the day of his surgery. “Hope canceled out my anxiety and fear,” Eric said. “I knew that I was making history, and that one day people were going to read about my case, and to me, it felt good to be a trailblazer.”

Another person in Eric’s corner is Dr. Pradeep Mammen, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine in the division of cardiology and Medical Director of the Neuromuscular Cardiomyopathy Clinic at UT Southwestern.

Dr. Mammen is one of Eric’s biggest advocates. A heart failure/transplant cardiologist with special expertise in the cardiovascular complications that can occur in patients with neuromuscular disorders, Dr. Mammen spent countless hours conducting background research on all the key components needed to ensure Eric would thrive pre- and post-LVAD implantation.

“For me, working with Eric and advocating on his behalf has been one of the highlights of my career,” Dr. Mammen said. “This is a paradigm shift in how we approach the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy patients, as well as patients with other forms of muscular dystrophy. We clearly have moved the field forward in terms of how we treat patients with muscular dystrophy and subsequent heart failure.”

To Dr. Mammen, Eric is proof of the principle that LVADs can help prolong the lives of muscular dystrophy patients. “This procedure has to be done for the right patient, by the right team,” Dr. Mammen said. “Our team flawlessly executed this endeavor for Eric.”

Eric is happy to have a team of health care professionals working hard to make his life better and, of course, for the support of his family and friends at home in Rowlett, Texas.

Today, when Eric looks in the mirror, he says it is “thrilling to see the torque of the pump pushing blood through my body. My whole body pulsates.” He likens this to the body’s response when a sports car accelerates. Eric looks forward to a bright future, including graduating from high school this spring, and he hopes someday to receive a healthy heart via transplantation.

UT Southwestern has played an integral role throughout the relatively short history of LVAD therapy and in the devices’ rapidly evolving technology. UT Southwestern participated in the landmark clinical trial (REMATCH) that led to FDA approval of the first LVAD for destination therapy and was the only North Texas center to participate in the HeartWare Bridge-to-Transplant trial, which was completed in 2012 and led to FDA approval of the device.

To obtain more information on clinical trials and treatments for advanced heart failure at UT Southwestern, contact the University Hospital Heart and Lung Clinic at 214-645-5505.

About UT Southwestern Medical Center

UT Southwestern, one of the premier academic medical centers in the nation, integrates pioneering biomedical research with exceptional clinical care and education. The institution’s faculty includes many distinguished members, including five who have been awarded Nobel Prizes since 1985. Numbering more than 2,700, the faculty is responsible for groundbreaking medical advances and is committed to translating science-driven research quickly to new clinical treatments. UT Southwestern physicians provide medical care in 40 specialties to nearly 91,000 hospitalized patients and oversee more than 2 million outpatient visits a year.

###

Media Contact: Lisa Warshaw
(214) 648-9349
lisa.warshaw@utsouthwestern.edu

Lisa Warshaw | EurekAlert!

Further reports about: FDA LVAD blood dystrophy failure muscular surgery therapy treatments ventricular

More articles from Medical Engineering:

nachricht Termination of lethal arrhythmia with light
13.09.2016 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht Sensor systems identify senior citizens at risk of falling within 3 weeks
29.08.2016 | University of Missouri-Columbia

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: OLED microdisplays in data glasses for improved human-machine interaction

The Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP has been developing various applications for OLED microdisplays based on organic semiconductors. By integrating the capabilities of an image sensor directly into the microdisplay, eye movements can be recorded by the smart glasses and utilized for guidance and control functions, as one example. The new design will be debuted at Augmented World Expo Europe (AWE) in Berlin at Booth B25, October 18th – 19th.

“Augmented-reality” and “wearables” have become terms we encounter almost daily. Both can make daily life a little simpler and provide valuable assistance for...

Im Focus: Artificial Intelligence Helps in the Discovery of New Materials

With the help of artificial intelligence, chemists from the University of Basel in Switzerland have computed the characteristics of about two million crystals made up of four chemical elements. The researchers were able to identify 90 previously unknown thermodynamically stable crystals that can be regarded as new materials. They report on their findings in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

Elpasolite is a glassy, transparent, shiny and soft mineral with a cubic crystal structure. First discovered in El Paso County (Colorado, USA), it can also be...

Im Focus: Complex hardmetal tools out of the 3D printer

For the first time, Fraunhofer IKTS shows additively manufactured hardmetal tools at WorldPM 2016 in Hamburg. Mechanical, chemical as well as a high heat resistance and extreme hardness are required from tools that are used in mechanical and automotive engineering or in plastics and building materials industry. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS in Dresden managed the production of complex hardmetal tools via 3D printing in a quality that are in no way inferior to conventionally produced high-performance tools.

Fraunhofer IKTS counts decades of proven expertise in the development of hardmetals. To date, reliable cutting, drilling, pressing and stamping tools made of...

Im Focus: Launch of New Industry Working Group for Process Control in Laser Material Processing

At AKL’16, the International Laser Technology Congress held in May this year, interest in the topic of process control was greater than expected. Appropriately, the event was also used to launch the Industry Working Group for Process Control in Laser Material Processing. The group provides a forum for representatives from industry and research to initiate pre-competitive projects and discuss issues such as standards, potential cost savings and feasibility.

In the age of industry 4.0, laser technology is firmly established within manufacturing. A wide variety of laser techniques – from USP ablation and additive...

Im Focus: New laser joining technologies at ‘K 2016’ trade fair

Every three years, the plastics industry gathers at K, the international trade fair for plastics and rubber in Düsseldorf. The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will also be attending again and presenting many innovative technologies, such as for joining plastics and metals using ultrashort pulse lasers. From October 19 to 26, you can find the Fraunhofer ILT at the joint Fraunhofer booth SC01 in Hall 7.

K is the world’s largest trade fair for the plastics and rubber industry. As in previous years, the organizers are expecting 3,000 exhibitors and more than...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Experts from industry and academia discuss the future mobile telecommunications standard 5G

23.09.2016 | Event News

ICPE in Graz for the seventh time

20.09.2016 | Event News

Using mathematical models to understand our brain

16.09.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stronger turbine blades with molybdenum silicides

26.09.2016 | Materials Sciences

Scientists Find Twisting 3-D Raceway for Electrons in Nanoscale Crystal Slices

26.09.2016 | Materials Sciences

Lowering the Heat Makes New Materials Possible While Saving Energy

26.09.2016 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>