Artificial Heart Pump

By: Tina Stein
By: Tina Stein

At 55-years-old, Arthur Berry spends more time in the hospital than a man should at his age. Berry has severe congested heart failure, a problem just noted four months ago. But now doctors at SwedishAmerican Hospital are trying to keep him away by testing him out on the Stateline's first ever artificial heart pump.

The heart pump works like this. Catheters are inserted into arteries near the groin area. And then a motor sits outside the body in between the legs. This allows blood to flow to the heart.

"It gives the heart a rest for four days and during that time the enlarged failing heart has a chance to shrink down and get back to more efficient size and state," says Dr. Paul Vaitkus.

Berry had the procedure done just last month and already says he's feeling like a new man.

"My energy level I don't know how low it could get but also I now know how much strength I could get out of it now," Berry says.

The pump is for heart failure patients that have exhausted all other options. And is great in the meantime, for those waiting for a heart transplant like Berry.

The artificial heart pump is still in the experimental phase. Doctors are waiting to learn how long the procedure is effective. Once that is determined, the FDA must give its' seal of approval to be used on patients nationwide.

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