A surgical team at Medical City Heart Hospital in Dallas used a new type of pump to treat a patient experiencing cardiogenic shock, according to a Nov. 7 news release.

What you need to know

The new heart pump, called the Impella RP Flex, is a minimally invasive pump and is about the size of a pencil. It’s placed in the heart by a catheter inserted through a small incision in the neck.

The heart pump is used to help the right ventricle circulate blood to the lungs where it becomes oxygenated. The blood is then pumped to the rest of the body by the left ventricle.

Because of its size and minimally invasive technique used to place it, patients are able to sit up in bed within hours of surgery, according to the news release. The patient treated at Medical City Heart Hospital was weaned off of the pump after three days once their condition improved.

Quote of note

“The device provides critical support for patients who are suffering from acute right heart failure,” said Dr. J.C. MacHannaford, medical director for heart transplantation and mechanical circulatory support at Medical City Heart Hospital, in a statement. “It allows the heart to rest and recover, which improves long-term survival. Providing this innovative technology demonstrates the high level of cardiovascular care and advanced heart failure therapies we’re providing patients with complex medical issues.”

One more thing

Cardiogenic shock is a life-threatening condition that occurs when the heart can’t pump enough oxygenated blood to the brain and other vital organs, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Most often, cardiogenic shock is caused by a serious heart attack.

Symptoms of cardiogenic shock may include:
  • Severe shortness of breath
  • Fast breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Chest pressure
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fever
  • Loss of consciousness