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University of Iowa News Release


June 2, 2008

UI Heart and Vascular Center first in Iowa to implant advanced heart pump

Specialists with the UI Heart and Vascular Center recently became the first in Iowa to use advanced technology just approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat patients with severe congestive heart failure.

The new HeartMate II ventricular assist device is lighter and quieter than previous versions. It reduces the workload on the heart by helping it pump blood, either enabling patients to survive until a donor heart becomes available or have a higher quality of life if they are not transplant candidates.

Heart and vascular specialists say the HeartMate II offers important advantages over previously available ventricular assist devices. Its smaller size makes it more available to a wider range of patients, including many smaller women. The advanced technology is also potentially more reliable than previous devices, making support for longer durations of time possible.

Good candidates for the HeartMate II include patients with heart failure either awaiting a heart transplant or patients not eligible for a heart transplants as a result of age or other medical problems.

"This pump allows us to provide mechanical circulatory support to a wide range of patients from around the Midwest with heart failure," said David Helman, M.D., a physician with UI Heart and Vascular Center. "The use of this pump to support patients with heart failure draws on our unique resources to provide comprehensive care from multiple disciplines."

STORY SOURCE: Joint Office for Marketing and Communications, University of Iowa Health Care, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room E110 GH, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Moore, 319-356-3945,