LHSC uses new technology to help patient become well enough for a heart transplant


For Immediate Release:

December 13, 2010

LONDON, Ontario - London Health Sciences Centre’s (LHSC) cardiac transplant team recently used a new and innovative device that will allow it to save more lives in a way that is safer and more comfortable for the patient than previously used devices.

The Impella cardiac-assist device, described as the world’s smallest heart pump, helps the heart pump oxygenated blood to the body so that the patient can become stronger prior to heart transplantation.

Terry Elliott, 49 years old from Woodstock, Ontario, found himself needing a heart transplant after meeting with his cardiac specialist on Nov. 4, 2010. “They found a bed for me right away and I was put on the transplant list. Unfortunately, my kidneys were shutting down and the medicine they were giving me was no longer working,” recalls Elliott.

“In some cases, patients are simply too sick and they need an intervention to help them become well enough to survive an intensive operation such as a heart transplant. We call this reconditioning,” explains Dr. Bob Kiaii, cardiac surgeon and chief of the Cardiac Surgery at LHSC.

Elliott’s care team offered him the Impella device. After a two-hour surgery on Nov. 10, his internal organs began recuperating. “I felt better right away,” says Elliott.

During his time on the Impella, Mr. Elliott’s kidneys, liver and lungs improved as did his general condition. After five days on the Impella cardiac assist device, a heart became available for Mr. Elliott.

“Those few days did indeed strengthen Mr. Elliott’s condition and he was physically able to undergo the heart transplant. He tolerated the transplantation well and was released only 16 days after his operation and less than one month after being admitted to hospital,” describes Dr. Mac Quantz, cardiac surgeon and director of the cardiac transplant team at LHSC.

“Although I have a long recovery ahead of me, this device gave me the strength to undergo a heart transplant and I believe it allowed me to leave hospital earlier than most other patients,” says Elliott.

With the addition of the Impella heart pump, LHSC will be able to provide state-of-art care to the people of southwestern Ontario.


About London Health Sciences Centre
London Health Sciences Centre has been in the forefront of medicine in Canada for 135 years and offers the broadest range of specialized clinical services in Ontario. Building on the traditions of its founding hospitals to provide compassionate care in an academic teaching setting, London Health Sciences Centre is home to Children’s Hospital, South Street Hospital, University Hospital, Victoria Hospital, two family medical centres, and two research institutes – Children’s Health Research Institute and Lawson Health Research Institute, a joint research initiative with St. Joseph’s Health Care, London. As a leader in medical discovery and health research, London Health Sciences Centre has a history of over 50 international and national firsts and attracts top clinicians and researchers from around the world. As a regional referral centre, London Health Sciences Centre cares for the most medically complex patients including critically injured adults and children in Southwestern Ontario and beyond. The hospital’s nearly 15,000 staff, physicians, students and volunteers provide care for more than one million patient visits a year. For more information, visit www.lhsc.on.ca.

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For LHSC media inquiries, please contact:
Stephan Beckhoff

Corporate Communications and Public Relations
London Health Sciences Centre
519-685-8500, ext. 74772

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Call LHSC Switchboard at 519-685-8500 and ask to page the communication consultant on-call