News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Akron Children's Hospital

Hennes Paynter Communications


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Health and Medicine




Exploradio - The whirring heart
The Cleveland Clinic's Innovation Summit looks at the business of heart care, but the keynote speaker will share his experiences as the nation's most famous heart patient.
by WKSU's JEFF ST. CLAIR
This story is part of a special series.


Reporter / Host
Jeff St. Clair
 
The HeartMate II LVAD, or Left Ventricular Assist Device is what's keeping former Vice President Dick Cheney alive. He'll be in Cleveland Wednesday to talk about life as a heart patient.
Courtesy of Jeff St.Clair
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

For people with severe heart disease, a small motor implanted in the chest can take over for a heart that’s ready to give out.  It’s a 20 year-old technology that’s suddenly gaining attention thanks to one very famous patient.

In this week’s Exploradio, we look at a life without a pulse.

Exploradio - The whirring heart

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:00)


(Click image for larger view.)

The steady rhythm of our beating heart is with us from before we’re born until the day we die.

But this –  [whirring noise ]  --  is the sound of a heart’s helper.  It’s called the Left Ventricular Assist Device.  Last summer, surgeons inserted one of these in the chest of former Vice President Dick Cheney.

Cheney will be in Cleveland this week to talk about life with the device at the Cleveland Clinic’s innovations summit.

Cheney’s life-saving measure brought recent notoriety to the technology. But cardiac nurse Tiffany Buda says she’s seen the device improve steadily since the early 1990’s.

“The devices we were using before were the size of my hand and thick…about an inch and half thick. You can imagine that being inside somebody’s abdomen and them trying to bend, and eat, and tie their shoes.”

Today’s ‘heart helper’ is a bell-shaped metal pump, weighing almost a pound and about the size of a D-cell battery.  Nurse Buda demonstrates how it’s used.

“I’m going to make some noise when I plug it in … “

Once placed inside you, the pump’s power cord snakes through a hole under your ribs.  That plugs into a rechargeable battery pack that lasts about 8 hours.  Once this device takes over, it can never stop.

“It’s just a gentle whirr.  You would have this implanted, and I wonder if you would miss your heartbeat?”

“After surgery they see the heartbeat and rhythm, and you can feel it, but the pump is providing the blood flow.”

Buda says the Left Ventricular Assist Device can dramatically improve the quality of life for someone whose heart is about to give out - a person at the point of what she calls, ‘destination therapy’ …

“They’re limited walking across the room, they’re getting short of (breath). It’s a big deal to walk down the driveway to get the mail. So if we can take those symptoms away and they can walk a block and walk up the stairs, and feel like going out to lunch with friends, and do some traveling, then we have given them some quality.  So hopefully they can do some of the things they want to do in the time that they have.”

The current technology can extend a heart patient’s life two to five years before it wears out. Then, he or she gets a transplant, or replaces the unit.

The Cleveland Clinic’s corporate venturing arm is hosting the Innovations Summit starting today. It focuses on the business of heart care.  As one of the nation’s most famous heart patients, Former Vice-President Dick Cheney will be the keynote speaker Wednesday.

 

I’m JSTC with this week’s Exploradio.

 

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook



Support for Exploradio
provided by:








Stories with Recent Comments

Ohio survey shows low-income people are choosing phones over food
Where is this study published? no sign of it on google scholar. is there a cite

The Akron Sound rocks the porches
fabulous group interview! you covered so much in so little time. wish i could be there for porch rockr.

Head of Ohio Dems says Kasich administration is lying about Suarez contacts
when Kasich's mouth is open , he's lying. Look what he did at Lehmans brothers and then lied about it all during the campaign. If a GOP didn't lie, he or she ...

Canton's Basilica of St. John absorbs news of the pope at morning Mass
Hello Chris,Marina,and Patrice, I just read this article and you all look great. I'm on facebook Jean Dutcher in blue and white stripped blouse. I"M so glad to ...

Exploradio: Avoiding the 'acting-white' trap
Growing-up black and being black should not determine that you will not speak well or will not be a high achiever in your goals in life.But society te nds to la...

Charter-school supporters to rally at Statehouse
I am on the bus now headed to the rally. Horizon is an excellent school. My son is is 7 th grade. The teachers and administrators are top notch and spend so m...

Former Nursing Home Land Added to Parks
In addition, LED technology also plays a very important role in advertising- LED placard is very, very useful for shop owners.

Ohio Supreme Court hears arguments on school funding
That's not true. Other school districts HAVE followed this law and done this. Oakhills is one of them and how they were able to provide technology for their s...

Death and beauty at Cleveland's Museum of Contemporary Art
What a disgusting story to air at lunch time.

Ohio Supreme Court grills attorneys on flooding and million-dollar fixes
Perhaps the State of Ohio should take the lead and implement state wide water shed districts that would collect minimum fees. The funds could then be distribute...

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University