Trinity Acquires Small, Portable Heart-Lung Support System Designed to Save Patients' Lives

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: 2012-05-30
Contact: Mary Muhlbradt
(701)857-5116, Fax: (701)857-5683
mary.muhlbradt@trinityhealth.org

Trinity Acquires Small, Portable Heart-Lung Support System Designed to Save Patients' Lives

Trinity Health today announced that it is among a select group of hospitals to acquire a new device that provides heart and lung support for patients experiencing severe cardiac or pulmonary distress. 

CardioHelp, a suitcase-sized machine, is the world's smallest portable heart-lung support system.  The fact that it's small is significant - it enables patients under cardiopulmonary distress to be stabilized and transferred, thus saving valuable time which could save patients' lives.

"The need for immediate, mobile, compact, life-sustaining resuscitation occurs on a regular basis, both in and outside of the hospital," Dr. Phillips explained.  "With the suitcase-sized CardioHelp system, we can provide clinicians and rapid response teams with a new option for patients who need cardiac and/or respiratory support while being transported."

The Food and Drug Administration cleared CardioHelp for use in the U.S. as a cardiac and/or respiratory assist device for up to six hours.  It works by forcing the patient's blood through an artificial membrane that infuses oxygen and removes carbon dioxide, mimicking the process of natural breathing. 

CardioHelp is the first support system available for both ground and air transportation.  Weighing approximately 22 pounds, it is light enough to be carried by one person and compact enough to be transported in a helicopter or ambulance.  It monitors important blood parameters, including venous oxygen saturation, hemoglobin and arterial and venous blood temperature.

Among the patients who will most benefit from CardioHelp are those requiring:

-Respiratory Assistance for Lung Disorders - These are cases of acute respiratory failure where the heart is still able to pump blood.  With CardioHelp, the blood can be removed from the jugular or femoral vein for enrichment with oxygen, after which it is returned to the body.

-Circulatory Assistance for Heart Disorders - This is when the heart is not pumping adequately to support circulation.  In these cases, blood is removed from the right atrium or femoral vein and returned to the aorta after oxygenation.  (Some of the blood bypasses the heart, thus relieving stress on the heart muscle.)

CardioHelp also may be used during open-heart surgery for up to six hours.