UTAH MADE VENTRICULAR ASSIST DEVICE GIVES IDAHO MAN CHANCE TO RESUME AN ACTIVE LIFE

University of Utah Hospital only the second center in the country to implant new device. After receiving only the fourth U.S. implant of a new generation, Utah made ventricular assist (VAD ) device, an Idaho man with heart failure is looking forward to resuming an active life following an operation on March 17 at University of Utah Hospital.

Craig H. Selzman, M.D.
Craig H. Selzman, MD -
Surgical Director of Heart Transplant
and Cardiac Mechanical Assist
University of Utah Health Care
photo: University of Utah

Douglas Wiley, Kuna, Idaho, received the Levacor™ VAD as part of national clinical trial under way at the University and is anxious to give his new VAD a real world tryout. “I can’t wait to get back on my motorcycle,” the 44 year old says.

The clinical trial, which is evaluating how well the new VAD serves as a bridge for people awaiting a heart transplant, is one of several leading edge treatment options the University’s cardiovascular program offers for people suffering from heart disease, according to Craig H. Selzman, M.D., the Utah principal investigator in the trial and a cardiothoracic surgeon with University of Utah Health Care.

“This new generation VAD represents a potentially important step in giving patients such as Mr. Wiley the chance to regain their strength and vitality while they wait for a heart transplant,” Selzman said. “The University of Utah has a long and proud history in the development and use of implanted blood pumps, and with the Levacor™ clinical trial we are expanding our commitment to help those with this devastating disease.”

As an academic medical system, University of Utah Health Care offers the full range of options for people with heart disease - medical treatment, transplantation, and vanguard technologies and trials such as new VADs and even stem cell transplants to help damaged hearts heal themselves.

The Levacor™ VAD was initially developed at and spun off from the University of Utah and is being commercialized by WorldHeart Corporation, a Salt Lake City based company. Unlike other VADs, this one uses a fully magnetically suspended rotor to help pump blood, allowing it to operate without bearings or other moving parts that wear out and can damage blood. Potentially, the Levacor™ VAD could last years longer than other blood pumps.

>>>>>Read the full Press Release in our HeartVigor.com News Page.

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