Max Hospital on Thursday said four people, who had an end-stage heart failure and were implanted with an artificial pump by the hospital, are living healthy lives even after five years of the implant.
These patients do not have a pulse, heart-beat, or measurable blood pressure, yet they are able to do everything that a healthy person can as their blood flow has been fully restored, the hospital said.
“The pump maintains a continuous flow of blood and hence no pulse. It draws blood from the heart and pumps into the body,” said Kewal Krishan, Director, Heart Transplant & Ventricular Assist Devices, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Saket.
“Left Ventricular Assist Device [LVAD] is a device that adds 13 to 15 years to the life of people facing imminent heart failure. It boosts functions of the heart and is used either as a temporary measure till a heart transplant can be conducted, or as a destination therapy where the patient lives with the device permanently as they are unfit for a heart transplant. LVAD enables patients to live a normal life even after end-stage heart failure,” he added.
LVAD costs between ?45 lakh to ?90 lakh, the doctor said. “If you are doing a heart transplant then you will have to take medicines, which cost about ?20,000-?30,000 for the rest of your life. Also, the medicines are immunosuppressants, which will affect the kidney,” Dr. Krishan said.
“LVADs are mechanical pumps of the size of one’s palm and have a cable that connects to an outside chargeable battery unit. An impeller within the pump spins thousands of times a minute, circulating the blood around the body continuously without a break. This means that LVAD patients don’t have a pulse or heart beat or measurable blood pressure. The external components of LVAD include a controller and batteries which power the device,” the hospital said.