Impella device now available

The work we do saves lives.

That’s exactly what happened in June when a patient’s heart went into shock from a blocked artery. Cardiologists and staff at MelroseWakefield Cardiovascular Center performed the first procedure at MelroseWakefield Hospital using an Impella device, the most advanced heart assist technology available. The patient stabilized, cardiologists treated the blockage, and today the patient is doing well.

“The Impella device saved the patient’s life,” said Laurence Conway, MD, medical director of the cardiovascular service line, who performed the procedure at MelroseWakefield Hospital along with David Criss, MD, cardiologist at Tufts Medical Center.

Impella is a tiny, temporary heart pump that helps move blood from the heart to organs in the body, allowing blood flow to continue and the heart muscle to recover. It is inserted percutaneously without open surgery. Impella is the newest advancement in cardiac care that is proven to be effective for treating high-risk heart failure. Studies show that using Impella with cardiogenic shock patients dramatically saves lives compared to usual therapy.

Impella is one of the newest advanced technologies in heart care, and it is available at MelroseWakefield Hospital – one of few community hospitals to provide this level of advanced technology and expertise to local patients.

“This takes us to the next level of cardiac care and is part of our commitment to bringing newer and better technology closer to home,” said Steven Sbardella, MD, chief medical officer.

While Impella is only necessary for emergencies, our staff are specially trained in the device and hold mock training every month so that we are always ready.

“This was the first time we needed to use Impella with a patient. That is a good thing because it means our community is educated and comes to the hospital at the first sign of heart disease symptoms,” said Dr. Conway.

Impella is the latest, modern advancement to be adopted at MelroseWakefield Cardiovascular Center in its long history of leading the way in community cardiac care.

“It is exciting to be able to offer our patients the very latest technology and to see them recover,” said Brenda Houde, RTR, cardiac and endovascular technologist, who was part of team for the first Impella procedure.