For patients who suffer severe heart damage during a heart attack and those with weak hearts who must undergo high-risk procedures, a new ventricular assist device that can be inserted without open-chest surgery assumes 85 percent of the heart’s pumping function for several hours or more than a week. The potentially lifesaving device benefits patients who arrive in the emergency room after experiencing damaging heart attacks, as well as those whose hearts are too frail to undergo major procedures without temporary support.
David Doerfler, Lancaster, CA, credits the TandemHeart system and Raj Makkar, MD, co-director of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s Cardiovascular Intervention Center and co-director of the Interventional Cardiology Research Program, with saving his life.
“I couldn’t have been in better hands. If it wasn’t for Dr. Makkar, I wouldn’t be here right now,” said Doerfler, 45, who apparently suffered a heart attack last October or November while working to remove concrete in his father’s yard.
Sandy Van | Cedars-Sinai Media Relations
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