Mechanical Circulatory Support Devices That Make a Difference
Heart disease can be devastating, but it’s not without hope. For patients living with cardiovascular disease, that hope comes in the form of mechanical circulatory support devices.
Around the world, millions of people face heart-related conditions, ranging from coronary heart disease and strokes, to diseases of the arteries. Cardiovascular diseases remain one of the leading causes of death worldwide.
In just the United States, one in five deaths is related to heart disease. That means that one American dies every 33 seconds from cardiovascular disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Mechanical circulatory support devices make a difference for people living with heart disease. Innovative technologies like ventricular assist devices, total artificial hearts and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) can be a lifeline for patients, improving both quality of life and long-term prognosis.
The Critical Need for Mechanical Circulatory Support Devices
Despite advances in cardiovascular disease treatment, many patients face limitations in their options and ability to manage their conditions.
Some patients, for instance, are not eligible for a heart transplant or are waiting for a donor organ. Right now, more than 3,000 Americans are on the transplant waiting list, but only about 2,000 donor hearts become available each year.
This is where mechanical circulatory support devices can come into play. The devices can be used as a bridge-to-transplant, taking a load off the heart while the patient waits for a donor organ. Or it can be used as long-term therapy for those who are not eligible for a transplant.
In either case, when the heart is compromised, ensuring a continuous flow of blood, oxygen and nutrients throughout the body is critical.
Types of Mechanical Circulatory Support Devices
There are three main types of mechanical circulatory support devices.
Ventricular Assist Devices (VADs)
VADs are implantable mechanical pumps that can either assist the left ventricle, the right ventricle, or both in pumping blood throughout the body.
Total Artificial Heart (TAH)
TAHs replace the entire heart – ventricles, valves, and all. This allows the device to mimic the natural pumping action of the patient’s heart.
Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO)
ECMO is a temporary life support system for critically ill patients, providing both cardiac and respiratory assistance. It diverts the patient’s blood outside of the body, oxygenating it and removing carbon dioxide before pumping it back into the circulatory system.
Improving Quality of Life For Patients
Mechanical circulatory support devices have demonstrated remarkable improvements in patient outcomes, improving quality of life and prognosis. As the devices take over cardiac function, individuals who were previously limited by heart failure can regain independence and mobility.
These devices are testament to human ingenuity and our relentless pursuit of better healthcare solutions.
At Transonic, that same ethos flows through all that we do. From providing bedside data for ECMO care teams to giving cardiothoracic surgeons critical blood flow information, we are proud to be a part of forging the path towards a future where heart failure is not a life sentence.