Penn State Health among first in the nation to implant new-designed pump for heart patients

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HERSHEY, Pa. (WHTM) — Penn State Health in Hershey is one of the first hospitals in the country to implant a newly-designed mechanical pump in patients with severe heart failure.   

The innovative procedure is part of a clinical study to evaluate the pump on 400 cardiovascular patients.

Researchers hope the device will reduce some of the risks patients face with left ventricular assist devices, including strokes and bleeding.

75-year-old Richard Huggins of Clinton County received the implant last month.

“It’s so small it can fit into the palm of my hand, and we do have some approved pumps, but this pump is cooler — it gives you pulse, it chews out the blood less … we think it’s going to have [fewer] complications for our bleeding. We’re one of two centers in the whole nation to put it in. Our patient’s doing great and we’re psyched about it,” said Dr. Rob Dowling, director of Heart Device Research at Penn State Heart and Vascular Institute and Penn State College of Medicine.

The study continues through 2022.

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