Baptist Health Medical Center in Little Rock implanted the state’s first HeartMate III, a left ventricular assist device, June 4 as part of a clinical trial called MOMENTUM III.
“This is extremely exciting for our end-stage heart-failure patients,” said John Ransom, a cardiovascular surgeon and surgical director of the Baptist Health Heart Transplant Program. “Our program does between 30 and 40 HeartMate II patients a year. Having the HeartMate III as a potential option for some of our patients will enhance our patient outcomes.”
The program is one of only 60 select centers chosen to evaluate the Thoratec HeartMate III, the latest advancement in mechanical circulatory support. The trial is expected to enroll more than 1,000 patients nationwide.
The HeartMate III is an implantable mechanical device that helps circulate blood throughout the body. Sometimes called a “heart pump” or “VAD,” it is designed to supplement the pumping function of the heart for patients whose hearts are too weak to pump blood adequately on their own. The trial will evaluate the performance and safety of the HeartMate III at six months of LVAD support in subjects with advanced heart failure. Potential benefits include fewer complications, and the device is much smaller than previous HeartMates allowing for a more active lifestyle.
Baptist Health was the first in the state to perform a heart transplant in 1989 and is currently the only active adult heart transplant center in Arkansas, having performed 228 heart transplants. The transplant program is also the only facility in Arkansas implanting adult left ventricular assist devices.
Main photo: Dr. John Ransom performs the state’s first HeartMate III implant on June 4. Photo courtesy of Baptist Health.