SEPT. 19, 2005 | A 9-year-old hurricane evacuee from Louisiana received an artificial heart in a successful Sept. 15 procedure led by University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) surgeon Michiaki Imamura, M.D., at Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH).
With his heart failing, Jacques Brumfield was admitted to Children’s Hospital in
When conditions deteriorated in
“After evaluating Jacques, Dr. Imamura quickly realized that his heart was failing and intervention was necessary,” said Robert Morrow, M.D., a professor of pediatrics in the UAMS College of Medicine and chief of pediatric cardiology at ACH. “We knew that Jacques would need to be placed on the heart transplant waiting list. To buy him the time to get him to the transplant, we decided it would be necessary to get approval to use the Berlin Heart pump.”
The Berlin Heart pump is a ventricular assist device intended to serve as a “bridge to heart transplant” but is only approved on a case-by-case, emergency basis in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). That permission was granted, the second time the blood pump device has been used at ACH to treat heart failure until a heart transplantation procedure can be performed.
At this point, 26 other pediatric patients in the
On Sept. 15, Imamura successfully attached the pump to Jacques’ heart in an eight-hour operation.
“The surgical procedure went smoothly. We have moved him to the unit where we will monitor him and the pump very closely. He is breathing well, but we will continue to watch his blood pressure and watch for bleeding,” Imamura said.
As Jacques recovers from the operation he and his family will continue to wait for a heart and rebuild their lives in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.