Patients awaiting cardiac transplantation at Hartford Hospital are fortunate to have available to them a number of mechanical circulatory support devices, which can serve as a bridge to transplantation. The devices currently in use are the Abiomed BVS 5000 and the TCI Heartmate.

The Abiomed BVS 5000 is a mechanical circulatory support system, in effect an artificial heart, which has been in use at Hartford Hospital since 1996. This device can be used to support patients whose hearts acutely fail until they recover, or can be changed to another type of ventricular assist device while awaiting transplant.

The TCI pneumatic Heartmate is a totally implantable left ventricular assist device (LVAD). This device is portable, which allows the patient to leave the intensive care unit, participate in physical therapy and other rehabilitation activities while awaiting transplant. Hartford Hospital has been successfully using this device since 1994.

What's New
In addition to the Abiomed BVS and TCI pneumatic Hearmate LVAD, Hartford Hospital now has the TCI Vented Electric Heartmate implantable LVAD as a bridge to transplantation. This device is powered by a portable battery pack, which allows patients greater mobility with the potential, when medically stable, for patients to go home on the device while waiting for their transplant.