The Heart and Vascular Center at Hutchinson Regional Medical Center achieved a significant milestone on October 1 when, for the first time, utilized the Impella 5.5 heart pump to successfully treat a patient during a procedure performed by Dr. Robert Fleming.
The Impella devices are reputed to be the world’s smallest heart pumps which is used in an effort to maintain blood flow during a high-risk coronary intervention or high-risk surgical procedure. The Impella 5.5 is a tiny device that is placed inside a catheter with an electric motor. Dr. Fleming said the Impella pump will deliver more than five liters of blood flow which has the effect of replacing cardiac output. This process allows the heart to rest and recover by temporarily assisting the pumping function to other organs to efficiently deliver blood and oxygen to the entire body.
Many patients can undergo major heart procedures without the support of a heart pump. However, patients with critical blockage or a weak heart muscle may require additional support provided by the Impella during a procedure.
Enabling a steady blood flow to critical organs enables the physician to perform a complete and optimized procedure decreasing the likelihood of repeat procedures and multiple hospital stays.
Utilization of the Impella heart pump is the next step in providing the area’s most advanced treatments in our service area. In 2020, a Nebraska physician, treating a patient from Oberlin in the state’s northwest region, recommended he travel to Hutchinson to schedule major surgery with Dr. Fleming. The procedure was successful and we hope to repeat that story many more times. Utilization of the Impella heart pump is a major step to make that happen.