Artificial heart saves 58-year-old with end-stage heart failure

By: |
August 25, 2020 3:45 PM

58-year-old Jaipur patient suffering from end-stage heart failure was successfully revived to life after developing post cardiotomy shock at Max Hospital, Saket.

ECMO is a machine which acts like an artificial lung and heart when both the organs are so much damaged that they cannot support the human body.

58-year-old Jaipur patient suffering from end-stage heart failure was successfully revived to life after developing post cardiotomy shock at Max Hospital, Saket.

Patient KC Aggarwal, was successfully implanted with Left – Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD), a mechanical heart pump. The patient with a history of severe myocardial infarction (heart attack) had already undergone Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG) at an outside hospital in Jaipur. Unfortunately, after developing a very deadly complication of post cardiotomy shock he was shifted to Max Hospital Saket on mechanical circulatory support.

“The patient was admitted in a very critical condition and was immediately optimized on Veno-Arterial Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Support (V-A ECMO) as his oxygen levels were dangerously low even on maximum ventilatory support. Being closely monitored, his ECMO flows were adjusted according to the need of his body. In order to re-establish his full flows, in view of his borderline hemodynamics, a trial to wean off the ECMO was done after 7 days. With multiple failed attempts to wean off, the team decided to continue the ECMO.” Said Dr. Kewal Krishan, Director – Heart Transplant & Ventricular Assist Devices, Principal Consultant – Cardiac Surgeon, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Saket, New Delhi

ECMO is a treatment which is given to patients with severe lung failure and heart failure when these patients cannot be managed on conventional treatments like ventilator. ECMO is a machine which acts like an artificial lung and heart when both the organs are so much damaged that they cannot support the human body.

“Since the effect of the severe cardiogenic shock led to development of end-stage heart failure, the patient was in a dire need of cardiac transplantation. However due to the non-availability of donor hearts, a decision to implant a left ventricular assist device was made as a destination therapy. He underwent the procedure uneventfully wherein the V-A ECMO support was separated and LVAD was implanted. His post-operative stay in the ICU and hospital was along the expected lines for such a critical procedure and he was discharged in a healthy and stable condition.” He added.

Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) is a mechanical pump implanted in patients awaiting heart transplant due to end-stage heart failure. The device is a battery-operated mechanical pump that helps the main pumping chamber of the heart (Left ventricle) to pump blood to the complete body.

“In most of the cases heart diseases remain undetected at an early age that leads to worsening of heart function ultimately resulting in heart failure. Many patients getting multiple heart attacks and patients of dilated cardiomyopathy are more vulnerable to develop advanced heart failure. In such cases the only treatment option is to undergo heart transplant, where 70% of them die waiting for a heart donor. LVAD is a boon for such patients and has saved many lives,” added Dr Krishan.

With advancement in science and technology, LVAD remains to be a big asset for surgeons and patients with heart failure. And creating awareness among the masses about the advancements can save many lives.

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