Rabeea Majhool, a 29 year old patient from Iraq suffered from respiratory infection just weeks before his nikah, which took a deadly turn within a fortnight and it outspread from his lungs to his heart. He was diagnosed with severe dysfunction in left ventricle and needed a heart transplant without further delay. Doctors at Fortis Memorial Research Institute (FMRI) underwent a significant milestone in curing acute heart condition. A miraculous medical device named “Heart Mate II” was implanted in Rabeea’s body, in a complicated six-hour surgery.
“Heart Mate II”, a ‘mechanical heart’ (A kind of Left Ventricular Assist Device), developed to treat chronic heart failures and improve survival and quality of life, for the patients waiting for heart transplants. This FDA approved device has a life span of 60 years and performs as target therapy for patients where heart transplant is not possible or who cannot find a donor for transplant.
LVAD is easily wearable on top or underneath clothing. The device is connected to the heart through an external driveline and has a small controller which works from chargeable battery. “The device is placed just below the diaphragm. It is designed to assist, or rather take away, the left ventricle’s pumping function,” said Sandeep Attawar, one of the doctors involved in the surgery. Interestingly, this device is not needed to be worn life long; it can be removed if the left ventricle recuperates in due course of time.
The Left Ventricular Assistive Device (LVAD), Heart Mate II is a sheer blessing for senior citizens, cancer patients, children (12-14 years) and everyone who suffers from bulging cardiomyopathy, immune deficiency syndrome, viral infections of heart etc. It’s a boon for patients with rare blood groups as the same device is inter-operable with all blood groupings.This therapy is not only life-saving, but it ensures that the patients live a normal life.
This startling invention, according to the doctors, not only extends the patient’s life by ten years but it also has ninety-percent survival rate after the procedure. While on the other side, a normal heart transplant has only fifty-percent survival rate. Chairman of Fortis Hospital, Ashok Seth said “Internationally, the rate of cadaver donations is extremely poor and Majhool would never have made it to the list of waiting recipients.” As per laws of human transplant issues in India, a foreign patient can only get a cadaveric organ when the inhabitants’ list is completed. This is a difficult case scenario, due to the seeming pending cases of heart transplants already.
Talking about further advantages of ‘Heart Mate II’ over heart transplants; people using the device would not need immuno-suppressants and would rather be needed to take blood-thinning medicines. Also, the risk of infections, post surgery has been dramatically decreased because of this device, contradictory to the case of transplant where the risk is pretty high. ‘Heart Mate II’ indeed has several benefits that a heart transplant could never give.