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AllMed Webinar Helps Peer Review Professionals Learn About Common Complications Associated with LVAD Implantation
Date:2/18/2013

Portland, OR (PRWEB) February 18, 2013

During a recent webinar hosted by AllMed Healthcare Management, Dr. Dale Mueller, a board-certified thoracic and cardiac surgeon, discussed the use of left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) for mechanical circulatory support and their potential complications.

Heart failure affects about 6 million people in the United States, and more than 100,000 people in the United States with progressive heart failure are refractory to available treatments. These patients have high rates of mortality during hospitalization, which are a source of concern and focus for hospital peer review, quality and risk management professionals. According to Dr. Dale Mueller, the preferred treatment for end-stage heart failure is heart transplantation. But, donor hearts are in short supply and many patients do not meet the criteria for this procedure.

Dr, Mueller reviewed the indications for LVAD implantation, which include the use of LVADs for bridge to transplantation, bridge to recovery, and destination therapy. He explained that LVADs work with the heart to help it pump blood more efficiently, unlike an artificial heart which replaces the failing heart completely. Patients who require heart transplantation but who have poor predicted survival while awaiting transplant can receive an LVAD as a bridge to transplantation. At the time of transplant, the native heart and LVAD are removed and replaced by the donor organ. For bridge to recovery, an LVAD is placed in a patient with cardiogenic shock with the intent to remove it after the shock condition has resolved. The most recently approved indication for LVADs is use as destination therapy for patients with end-stage heart failure and poor predictive survival in their current medical state, who are not eligible for transplantation. These patients undergo permanent LVAD implantation.

Dr. Mueller noted that the shortage of appropriate donor orga
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