New heart pump puts the squeeze on stroke

First patient in Canada receives artificial heart that pumps blood by “squeezing” the aorta
Dr. Cecere
Photos:Pierre Dubois, Multimedia, MUHC

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, a new type of heart assist device that pumps blood by rhythmically squeezing the aorta has been implanted into a patient at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC). The new device reduces the risk of the blood clots that can cause stroke because it forms a “cuff” around the aorta, rather than being implanted directly into the circulatory system like conventional heart assist devices. The new pump is part of a clinical trial being conducted at the MUHC. It is the first time the device has been used in Canada. 

See the media coverage for this story

“In the absence of a suitable heart donor, artificial hearts are the only choice for advanced heart failure patients who fail standard therapy,” says Dr. Renzo Cecere, Director of the Mechanical Heart Assist Program and Surgical Director of the Heart Failure and Heart Transplant Program at the MUHC. Artificial hearts have come a long way in the past decade, but until now, most still required surgical implantation into the circulatory system in order to pump blood around the body.

“When blood comes into contact with something that isn't naturally part of the human body, such as an artificial heart, it has a tendency to clot, which can lead to severe complications, such as stroke – the third leading cause of death in Canada,” says Dr. Cecere, who is also Associate Professor of Surgery at McGill University. The new pump, called the C-Pulse, gets around this problem because instead of being implanted directly into the heart, it is installed around the heart, or more specifically around the aorta – the artery that takes blood from the heart to the rest of the body. A balloon inside the device inflates and deflates, pulling blood through the heart. No incisions need to be made on the heart itself or to any major vessels during implantation, so the surgery is less invasive because patients do not need to take anti-clotting medications, such as heparin or warfarin after surgery.

“The new pump has definitely changed my life,” says patient Lauza Légere from Laval. “Before the surgery, I couldn’t even have a proper conversation. I would have to stop talking in the middle of a sentence just to catch my breath.” Due to Ms. Légere’s overall medical condition, she was not a candidate for a conventional heart assist device and her medications were no longer helping her.

Heart failure does not necessarily mean that the heart has stopped beating - it means it is insufficient to meet the needs of the body. As a result, certain patients can even disconnect from the C-Pulse for short periods, in order to shower, rest, and perform other activities. This feature ultimately provides patient’s with improved quality of life. Like other heart assist devices, the C-Pulse can be used to sustain advanced heart failure patients while they wait for a transplant, or as a lifetime solution for their condition.

It is estimated that there are 500,000 Canadians living with heart failure, and that 50,000 new patients are diagnosed each year. Last year approximately 150 heart transplants were conducted across Canada, including approximately 50 in Quebec.

  

On the web:

www.muhc.ca
www.sunshineheart.com/c-pulse

 

Media coverage for this story

Television

News Now
CHCH (E! Canada - Hamilton, ON) - 02/14/11
Taz: CANADIAN DOCTORS ARE TESTING A HEART PUMP THAT COULD HELP THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE.
Article

New heart pump cuts risk of stroke
CTV.ca - 02/14/11
MONTREAL — A Laval woman has become the first Canadian to receive a revolutionary new heart device. Lauza Legere was fitted with the C-Pulse cuff, which fits around the aorta to pump oxygen through the body. Legere had a heart attack in August, and had the device implanted in December, as part of a clinical trial underway at the McGill University Health Centre.
Article

New heart pump aims to cut stroke risk
Global TV News Top Stories - Bradley Bouzane - 02/14/11
Bradley Bouzane, Postmedia News: Monday, February 14, 2011 12:08 AM Dr. Renzo Cecere and a medical team implanting the device on Lauza Legere. Photo Credit: McGill University Health Centre, McGill University Health Centre The C-Pulse Cuff is placed around the ascending aorta, above the aortic valve. U.S.


New heart pump could cut stroke risk
CBC | Top Stories News - 02/14/11
In December, doctors at McGill University Health Centre installed a C-Pulse cuff on 54-year-old Lauza Legere's aorta to pump oxygen through her body. The cuff moves blood by rhythmically squeezing her aorta, something Legere's body wasn't doing properly since her August heart attack. Dr. Renzo Cecere (centre) of McGill University Health Centre in Montreal implants a C-Pulse heart pump in Lauza Legere at the Royal Victoria Hospital on Dec.

Print

New heart pump being tested in Canada, considered bridge to transplant
Moose Jaw Times-Herald - 02/14/11
Published on February 14, 2011 Topics : McGill University Health Centre , Pulse Heart Assist System , Canada , MONTREAL , Laval MONTREAL - Lauza Legere's heart is beating strong this Valentine's Day but not because she's been poked with Cupid's arrow. She's helping test the C-Pulse Heart Assist System, a new device that rhythmically squeezes her aorta and pumps blood to her damaged heart. "I feel much better than before," Legere said in a telephone interview, explaining that before she got the pump it was hard to even take a breath.


Heart pump provides bridge to transplant
Kelowna Daily Courier - Nelson Wyatt, The Canadian Press - 02/14/11
New heart pump being tested in Canada, considered bridge to transplant By Nelson Wyatt, The Canadian Press 2011-02-13 MONTREAL - Lauza Legeres heart is beating strong this Valentines Day but not because shes been poked with Cupids arrow. Shes helping test the C-Pulse Heart Assist System, a new device that rhythmically squeezes her aorta and pumps blood to her damaged heart. "I feel much better than before," Legere said in a telephone interview, explaining that before she got the pump it was hard to even take a breath.

New heart pump being tested in Canada, considered bridge to transplant | National News | Kamloops Daily News
The Daily News >> Canada News - 02/14/11
Dr. Renzo Cecere, director of the Mechanical Heart Assist Program at the McGill University Health Centre (centre) in Montreal, implants a C-Pulse Heart Assist System in a patient at the Royal Victoria Hospital on Dec. 21, 2010. The device helps damaged hearts pump blood and reduces the risk of stroke and clots. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO- McGill University Health Centre MONTREAL - Lauza Legere's heart is beating strong this Valentine's Day but not because she's been poked with Cupid's arrow.

February 14, 2011 New heart pump being tested in Canada, considered bridge to transplant
Truro Daily News - 02/14/11
New heart pump being tested in Canada, considered bridge to transplant Published on February 14, 2011 Topics : McGill University Health Centre , Pulse Heart Assist System , Canada , MONTREAL , Laval MONTREAL - Lauza Legere's heart is beating strong this Valentine's Day but not because she's been poked with Cupid's arrow. She's helping test the C-Pulse Heart Assist System, a new device that rhythmically squeezes her aorta and pumps blood to her damaged heart.

New heart pump being tested in Canada, considered bridge to transplant
Cape Breton Post - Nelson Wyatt - 02/14/11
get the oxygen that I wasn't able to have." Dr. Renzo Cecere of the McGill University Health Centre says Legere is the first person in Canada to get the device, which reduces blood
Article

New heart pump being tested in Canada
The Report. Alberta edition - 02/14/11
get the oxygen that I wasn't able to have." Dr. Renzo Cecere of the McGill University Health Centre says Legere is the first person in Canada to get the device, which reduces blood
Article

Nouvelle pompe cardiaque
Le Quotidien - 02/14/11
d'avoir." Le docteur Renzo Cecere, du Centre universitaire de santé de l'Université McGill (CUSM), à Montréal, a révélé que Mme Legere était la première personne au Canada à bénéficier
Article

Berries battle Parkinson's
Winnipeg Free Press - 02/14/11
task since. The heart-assisting device is currently part of a clinical trial at the McGill University Health Centre in Montreal. "I am a lot better than before," Legere said. "Before, I was always


Heart pump tested Device considered bridge to transplant
The Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal - 02/14/11
get the oxygen that I wasn't able to have." Dr. Renzo Cecere of the McGill University Health Centre says Legere is the first person in Canada to get the device, which reduces blood
Article

New heart device reduces stroke risk Clinical trial
National Post - Bradley Bouzane - 02/14/11
cuff in December and finding a fresh breath has been a much easier task since. The heart-assisting device is currently part of a clinical trial at the McGill University Health Centre in Montreal
Article

New pump gives her heart a hand
Hamilton Spectator - 02/14/11
Quebec woman first in Canada to test new device heart pump Dr. Renzo Cecere, director of the Mechanical Heart Assist Program at the McGill University Health Centre in Montreal, implants a C-Pulse Heart Assist System in a patient. The device helps damaged hearts pump blood and reduces the risk of stroke and clots. The Canadian Press Loading... MONTREAL Lauza Legere’s heart is beating strong this Valentine’s Day but not because she’s been poked with Cupid’s arrow.
Article

New heart pump could reduce stroke risk
Toronto Sun - 02/14/11
MONTREAL - In what?s being billed as a Canadian first, the McGill University Health Centre has installed a revolutionary heart pump that it says can reduce or eliminate the risk of stroke in patients who have suffered heart failure. The C-Pulse squeezes the heart?s aorta vessel from the outside, as opposed to traditional pumps whose presence inside the heart can cause potentially deadly blood clotting. The C-Pulse was implanted on Dec. 21 into Lauza Legere, a woman from suburban Montreal who was suffering from a weak heart. Dr.


New heart pump could reduce stroke risk
Winnipeg Sun - 02/14/11
The C-Pulse heart pump was designed in New Zealand and was installed in a Canadian patient for the first time late last year. (McGill University Health Centre) MONTREAL - In what’s being billed as a Canadian first, the McGill University Health Centre has installed a revolutionary heart pump that it says can reduce or eliminate the risk of stroke in patients who have suffered heart failure.

New heart pump being tested in Canada, considered bridge to transplant
Squamish Chief - 02/14/11
Renzo Cecere of the McGill University Health Centre says Legere is the first person in Canada to get the device, which reduces blood clots that can cause strokes. He is currently conducting trials on the pump and hopes to implant 12 devices in the next 18 months. ''There are probably thousands of patients who might benefit from a pump like this," said the doctor, who is director of the Mechanical Heart Assist Program and surgical director of the MUHC's transplant program.

Une nouvelle pompe cardiaque qui limite les risques dAVC
24 Heures Montreal - 02/14/11
Le Dr Renzo Cecere du CUSM est le seul chirurgien à avoir implanté cette nouvelle pompe cardiaque limitant les risques d'AVC au Canada. Photo : Sébastien St-Jean / 24H Le Centre universitaire de santé McGill (CUSM) vient de réaliser une première au Canada en implantant dans le corps d’une patiente, un tout nouveau dispositif d’assistance cardiaque permettant de réduire les risques d’accident vasculaire cérébral (AVC).
Article

C-Pulse Cuff, New Heart Device Is Very Promising
MedIndia - 02/15/11
Lauza Legere is the first Canadian to be fitted with a novel heart- assisting device called the C-Pulse Cuff, which is part of a clinical trial at The McGill University Health Centre in Montreal. The device was implanted in December and can effectively reduce the risk of stroke. The C-Pulse is implanted outside the aorta, unlike other heart pumps which are implanted inside the aorta for a short period of time. A cuff is also sewn around the critical heart valve.
Article

Innovative pump may prevent strokes
Kingston Whig-Standard - 02/15/11
MONTREAL -- In what's being billed as a Canadian first, the McGill University Health Centre has installed a revolutionary heart pump that it says can reduce or eliminate the risk of stroke in patients who have suffered heart failure. The C-Pulse squeezes the heart's aorta vessel from the outside, as opposed to traditional pumps whose presence inside the heart can cause potentially deadly blood clotting. The C-Pulse was implanted on Dec. 21 into Lauza Legere, a woman from suburban Montreal who was suffering from a weak heart. Dr.
Article

Innovative pump may prevent strokes
Brantford Expositor - 02/15/11
MONTREAL -In what's being billed as a Canadian first, the McGill University Health Centre has installed a revolutionary heart pump that it says can reduce or eliminate the risk of stroke in patients who have suffered heart failure. The C-Pulse squeezes the heart's aorta vessel from the outside, as opposed to traditional pumps whose presence inside the heart can cause potentially deadly blood clotting. The C-Pulse was implanted on Dec. 21 into Lauza Legere, a woman from suburban Montreal who was suffering from a weak heart. Dr.
Article

Internet

Une pompe cardiaque révolutionnaire
Canoe - Agence QMI - 02/15/11
Apprenez les nouvelles dès qu'elles se produisent.. Dans le cadre d’un essai clinique, le chirurgien Renzo Cecere a équipé Lauza Légere d’une nouvelle pompe cardiaque le 21 décembre 2010 au terme d’une opération d’à peine deux heures à l’hôpital Royal Victoria. Aucun contact avec le sang Le principe de ce dispositif révolutionnaire est simple. Un petit ballon en plastique, relié à une pompe, est fixé à l’aide d’un brassard sur l’artère aorte qui alimente le corps en sang oxygéné.


Une pompe cardiaque pour éviter la transplantation
MSN Canada - 02/14/11
Cecere. La Presse Canadienne MONTRÉAL - En cette journée de la Saint-Valentin, le coeur de Lauza Legere trépide, mais ce n'est pas parce qu'elle vient de croiser l'amour de sa vie. Plutôt, elle participe aux essais cliniques d'un dispositif d'assistance ventriculaire qui contracte l'aorte et pompe du sang vers son coeur endommagé. «Je me sens beaucoup mieux qu'avant, parce que je suis beaucoup moins essoufflée», a confié Mme Legere, lors d'une entrevue téléphonique à La Presse Canadienne.
Article

New heart pump being tested in Canada, considered bridge to transplant
Macleans Online - Nelson Wyatt - 02/14/11
MONTREAL - Lauza Legere's heart is beating strong this Valentine's Day but not because she's been poked with Cupid's arrow. She's helping test the C-Pulse Heart Assist System, a new device that rhythmically squeezes her aorta and pumps blood to her damaged heart. "I feel much better than before," Legere said in a telephone interview, explaining that before she got the pump it was hard to even take a breath. "I stopped every two or three words because I was out of breath. I wasn't able to walk.

Canadians Can Take Heart: New Pump Reduces Stroke Risk
ECanadaNow - Staff - 02/14/11
The new C-pulse cuff, on the other hand, is attached outside the aorta, assisting the body’s natural pumping process, thereby reducing strain but still limiting the risk of stroke significantly. The first Canadian to receive the C-pulse cuff was Lauza Legere, who received the device in December as part of the clinical trials at McGill University Health Centre in Montreal. Legere’s response has been overwhelmingly positive, and she says that her symptoms of strain and fatigue have been greatly reduced since the surgery.

Radio

New heart pump being tested in Canada, considered bridge to transplant
CJAD 800 - 02/14/11
Nelson Wyatt, The Canadian Press Dr. Renzo Cecere, director of the Mechanical Heart Assist Program at the McGill University Health Centre (centre) in Montreal, implants a C-Pulse Heart Assist System in a patient at the Royal Victoria Hospital on Dec. 21, 2010. The device helps damaged hearts pump blood and reduces the risk of stroke and clots. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO- McGill University Health Centre" MONTREAL - Lauza Legere's heart is beating strong this Valentine's Day but not because she's been poked with Cupid's arrow.
Article