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New Heart Assist Device At SBUH "Will Help Save Many, Many Lives On Long Island"


Using percutaneous device, cardiologists can stabilize heart function for days, weeks, month

STONY BROOK, N.Y., March 23, 2006 ó The Heart Center at Stony Brook University Hospital is the first and only facility on Long Island using the "TandemHeart" system Ė a percutaneous left ventricular assist device Ė for patients who are too ill to undergo life-saving procedures without circulatory support. Interventional Cardiologists at Stony Brook now have the minimally-invasive technology to place this percutaneous left ventricular assist device in the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory.

David L. Brown, M.D.
David L. Brown, M.D.

TandemHeart helps saves lives by increasing blood flow and reducing demands placed on a weakened or damaged heart Ė without the need for invasive surgery. It enables cardiologists at Stony Brook to more safely treat the highest risk patients with coronary artery disease, acute myocardial infarction, cardiogenic shock or severe primary cardiomyopathy. The device takes over the blood pumping function, allowing a patientís heart to rest, giving cardiologists and cardiac surgeons additional time to better evaluate their critically ill patients.

"This device provides an advanced level of cardiac care that will help save many, many lives on Long Island," said David L. Brown, M.D., Chief of Cardiovascular Medicine and Co-Director of the Heart Center at Stony Brook (pictured left).

Todd K. Rosengart, M.D.
Todd K. Rosengart, M.D.

"The TandemHeart should be considered a potential life-saving resource for every patient with an acute, life-threatening heart condition including those who must undergo high-risk revascularization, and acute heart failure stabilization," said Todd K. Rosengart, M.D., Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery and Co-Director of the Heart Center at Stony Brook.

The TandemHeart works by restoring blood circulation through a cardiac catheterization-based procedure designed to keep blood flowing to save vital organs and give damaged hearts a chance to heal. It is about the size of a fist and is placed outside a patientís thigh. A tube is inserted through a large vein in the leg into the left side of the heart. A second tube is inserted into the patientís femoral artery, and the pump is connected to a micro-processing computer that takes over pumping the patientís heart during a procedure. Patients can remain on the pump for a period of several hours, weeks and months, if necessary.

Stony Brook University Hospital is the only academic medical center on Long Island and the only tertiary care hospital in Suffolk County. With 504 beds and 4,000 employees, SBUH is the largest hospital in the county. The Heart Center and the Stony Brook University Cancer Center attract patients from throughout the region with cutting edge diagnostic and treatment facilities and compassionate care. Stony Brook has Long Islandís only kidney transplantation center and the nationís first Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Center. The hospital is also the regional referral center for trauma, perinatal and neonatal intensive care, burns, bone marrow and stem cell transplantation, cystic fibrosis, pediatric/adult AIDS, and is home to the Cody Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities.

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