Until she fainted in 2012, Alicia didn’t know she was sick. Feeling tired and out of breath were “normal for me,” says the now 52-year-old single mom. The Glenside resident believed she felt that way because she was overweight and out of shape. She was working 10- to 12-hours daily attending her daughter Shannon’s high school track meets and working part-time on an online MBA degree.
After suffering a seizure in 2000, Brain learned that a virus had destroyed the lower third of his heart. He received a defibrillator and a dual pacemaker. More than a decade later, his heart function began to deteriorate further. So his doctors in the Lehigh Valley recommended that Brian go to the Temple Heart & Vascular Institute—where, at the age of 70, he received a heart transplant in December 2013.
Over the last two decades, MCSDs have been developed to augment or supplant failing myocardial performance. This therapy has been used successfully as a bridge to heart transplantation, a bridge to recovery, and as permanent implantation or "destination therapy" for intractable heart failure. Although heart transplantation offers life-saving therapy for selected patients, its use is limited by a supply of donor organs that currently meets less than one-tenth the need. As a consequence, the number of MCSD implantations has increased in recent years.
The TandemHeart percutaneous extracorporeal ventricular assist system is used to support circulation. The percutaneous cannulas facilitate access to the venous and arterial circulatory vessels. When...