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 Imaging probe yields double insight
05.08.2015 | The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)

nachricht Tiny mechanical wrist gives new dexterity to needlescopic surgery
24.07.2015 | Vanderbilt University

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: OU astrophysicist and collaborators find supermassive black holes in quasar nearest Earth

A University of Oklahoma astrophysicist and his Chinese collaborator have found two supermassive black holes in Markarian 231, the nearest quasar to Earth, using observations from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

The discovery of two supermassive black holes--one larger one and a second, smaller one--are evidence of a binary black hole and suggests that supermassive...

Im Focus: What would a tsunami in the Mediterranean look like?

A team of European researchers have developed a model to simulate the impact of tsunamis generated by earthquakes and applied it to the Eastern Mediterranean. The results show how tsunami waves could hit and inundate coastal areas in southern Italy and Greece. The study is published today (27 August) in Ocean Science, an open access journal of the European Geosciences Union (EGU).

Though not as frequent as in the Pacific and Indian oceans, tsunamis also occur in the Mediterranean, mainly due to earthquakes generated when the African...

Im Focus: Self-healing landscape: landslides after earthquake

In mountainous regions earthquakes often cause strong landslides, which can be exacerbated by heavy rain. However, after an initial increase, the frequency of these mass wasting events, often enormous and dangerous, declines, in fact independently of meteorological events and aftershocks.

These new findings are presented by a German-Franco-Japanese team of geoscientists in the current issue of the journal Geology, under the lead of the GFZ...

Im Focus: FIC Proteins Send Bacteria Into Hibernation

Bacteria do not cease to amaze us with their survival strategies. A research team from the University of Basel's Biozentrum has now discovered how bacteria enter a sleep mode using a so-called FIC toxin. In the current issue of “Cell Reports”, the scientists describe the mechanism of action and also explain why their discovery provides new insights into the evolution of pathogens.

For many poisons there are antidotes which neutralize their toxic effect. Toxin-antitoxin systems in bacteria work in a similar manner: As long as a cell...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer IPA develops prototype of intelligent care cart

It comes when called, bringing care utensils with it and recording how they are used: Fraunhofer IPA is developing an intelligent care cart that provides care staff with physical and informational support in their day-to-day work. The scientists at Fraunhofer IPA have now completed a first prototype. In doing so, they are continuing in their efforts to improve working conditions in the care sector and are developing solutions designed to address the challenges of demographic change.

Technical assistance systems can improve the difficult working conditions in residential nursing homes and hospitals by helping the staff in their work and...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Networking conference in Heidelberg for outstanding mathematicians and computer scientists

20.08.2015 | Event News

Scientists meet in Münster for the world’s largest Chitin und Chitosan Conference

20.08.2015 | Event News

Large agribusiness management strategies

19.08.2015 | Event News

 
Latest News

Interstellar seeds could create oases of life

28.08.2015 | Physics and Astronomy

An ounce of prevention: Research advances on 'scourge' of transplant wards

28.08.2015 | Health and Medicine

Fish Oil-Diet Benefits May be Mediated by Gut Microbes

28.08.2015 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>