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Utah-made ventricular assist device gives Idaho man chance to resume an active life
Date:4/8/2010

SALT LAKE CITYAfter receiving only the fourth U.S. implant of a new-generation, Utah-made ventricular assist (VAD ) device, an Idaho man with heart failure is looking forward to resuming an active life following an operation on March 17 at University of Utah Hospital.

Douglas Wiley, Kuna, Idaho, received the Levacor VAD as part of national clinical trial under way at the University and is anxious to give his new VAD a real-world tryout. "I can't wait to get back on my motorcycle," the 44-year-old says.

The clinical trial, which is evaluating how well the new VAD serves as a bridge for people awaiting a heart transplant, is one of several leading-edge treatment options the University's cardiovascular program offers for people suffering from heart disease, according to Craig H. Selzman, M.D., the Utah principal investigator in the trial and a cardiothoracic surgeon with University of Utah Health Care.

"This new-generation VAD represents a potentially important step in giving patients such as Mr. Wiley the chance to regain their strength and vitality while they wait for a heart transplant," Selzman said. "The University of Utah has a long and proud history in the development and use of implanted blood pumps, and with the Levacor clinical trial we are expanding our commitment to help those with this devastating disease."

As an academic medical system, University of Utah Health Care offers the full range of options for people with heart disease medical treatment, transplantation, and vanguard technologies and trials such as new VADs and even stem cell transplants to help damaged hearts heal themselves.

The Levacor VAD was initially developed at and spun-off from the University of Utah and is being commercialized by WorldHeart Corporation, a Salt Lake City-based company. Unlike other VADs, this one uses a fully magnetically suspended rotor to help pump blood, allowing it to operate without bearings or other moving part
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Contact: Chris Nelson
christopher.nelson@hsc.utah.edu
801-581-7387
University of Utah Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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