Kentucky’s First WorldHeart Levacor VAD Implanted at Jewish Hospital

7/13/2010

Media Contact(s):
Barbara Mackovic
Senior Manager
BarbaraMackovic@KentuckyOneHealth.org
Phone: 502-587-4230
Cell Phone: 502-641-5461
Direct Phone: 502-562-7075

Louisville, KY–Jewish Hospital and the University of Louisville is pleased to announce that Dr. Mark Slaughter, MD, has successfully implanted Kentucky’s first WorldHeart Levacor™ Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) in a Bridge-to-Transplant (BTT) clinical study. This is the eighth implant of the Levacor VAD in the fourth implanting center in the study.

Surgery took place at Jewish Hospital on June 30, 2010. 

The Levacor VAD is the only fully magnetically levitated, bearingless, implantable centrifugal pump to move into clinical trial. By using magnetic levitation to fully suspend a spinning rotor, the Levacor VAD's only moving part, the pump is designed to eliminate wear and to provide unobstructed clearances for blood flow across a wide range of operation.

Slaughter, chief of the division of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Jewish Hospital/University of Louisville, is the surgical co-Principal Investigator of the study.  He said “I am excited by our initiation of patient enrollment in this study. We are pleased to provide a fully magnetically levitated VAD therapy to our late-stage heart failure patients. This is part of our ongoing efforts to find ways to reduce complications and improve outcomes.”

J. Alex Martin, WorldHeart's President and Chief Executive Officer noted, "We are pleased to continue to expand the BTT clinical study at Jewish Hospital led by Dr. Slaughter, a top thought leader in mechanical circulatory support therapy."

Heart disease is a leading cause of death in the U.S.  Over five million people in the United States have heart failure and it results in over 300,000 deaths each year. Heart failure is a common condition in which the heart becomes unable to pump sufficient blood to meet the body’s needs.  Heart failure is a progressive condition and typically results from damage to the heart muscle arising from a heart attack or virus.
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About Jewish Hospital
Jewish Hospital is an internationally renowned high-tech tertiary referral center developing leading-edge advancements in hand and microsurgery, heart and lung care, home care, rehab medicine (including sports medicine), orthopaedics, neuroscience, occupational health, organ transplantation and outpatient and primary care.  Site of the world’s first successful hand transplant, and the world’s first and second successful AbioCor® Implantable Replacement Heart procedures, the hospital is also federally designated to perform all five solid organ transplants – heart, lung, liver, kidney and pancreas.

About University of Louisville School of Medicine
One of the oldest medical schools in the United States, the University of Louisville School of Medicine offers an exceptional educational experience in both the classroom and clinical settings. UofL is one of the only schools in the country to require that students takes courses in the humanities as part of their medical school education, and five teaching hospitals are available to medical students, all of which offer clinical experience with large and diverse patient bases. The University of Louisville School of Medicine has seen a 490 percent increase in federal funding over the past ten years, which puts it among the top two percent of medical schools for research growth.

About the Levacor VAD and World Heart Corporation
WorldHeart is a developer of mechanical circulatory support systems based in Salt Lake City, Utah with additional facilities in Oakland, California, USA. WorldHeart's registered office is in Delaware, USA.

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