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.

Northeast Ohio Medical University

Metro RTA

Akron Children's Hospital


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

The first big private gift comes in for the pro football HOF project
The HOF has needed a shot in the arm for many years and this project will go a long way to getting the attraction the attention it deserves (next: upgrad...

Environmental study nears completion in East Liverpool
Twenty years ago my twin sister and I protested the building and operation of the WTI facility citing several studies that indicated the risk of cancer due to ...

HOF's Canton expansion could take an island and make it a village
I live in the block from Broad St to the Hall of Fame and will be impacted by the expansion. I am in the process of selling my home and planned to long before i...

Cleveland redeploys police to replace rejected red-light traffic cameras
Periodic rotational enforcement without warning does NOT change behavior and the city officials know that. This is the basis of all officer-run enforcement trap...

New enrollment period offers more insurance options
The removal of federal funding for healthcare CO-OPs may limit the growth of the CO-OP movement. http://www.healthcaretownhall.com/?p=6381

The family of Boardman vet killed in Vietnam receives his medals
My name is Mike Eisenbraun. I am Larry's brother. I was 14 years old when Larry was killed in Vietnam. He has been gone for 46 years but it seems like yester...

Cleveland seniors are creating new wealth -- and facing new challenges
Why is anyone surprised that we people over 65 are not retiring? If you have been paying attention, defined company funded pensions were phasing out in the eigh...

Ohio company cuts off a dairy supplier after allegations of animal abuse
these people should be held accountable for their actions. i would be more than pleased to see a year or more behind bars. i will NEVER eat anything that comes ...

Goodyear recruits thousands of vets
What a wonderful interview! Excellent reporting skills by a talented young reporter! I look forward to hearing more from Ms. Schley!

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