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Hackensack University Medical Center First in U.S. to Perform Cardiovascular Procedures Using Pioneering Impella 5.5 Heart Pump Device

HACKENSACK, N.J., Oct. 28, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- On October 16, 2019, Hackensack Meridian Health's Hackensack University Medical Center performed its first cardiovascular surgery procedures using a new heart pump called the Impella 5.5 with SmartAssist. Hackensack University Medical Center is one of only three hospitals in the country that currently has access to this new technology, and the first hospital in the U.S. to successfully perform procedures using the device.

"Adding the Impella5.5 with SmartAssist technology to our cardiovascular offerings means we can provide a new option to patients whose hearts are too weak to effectively pump blood on their own after a heart attack. This gives severely ill patients the best chance to recover their native heart and return home with a good long-term quality of life," said Robert C. Garrett, CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health.

The Impella 5.5 is being introduced in the U.S. through a controlled rollout at select hospitals with established heart recovery protocols. Hackensack University Medical Center is the only hospital in the northeastern U.S. that is participating in this controlled rollout.

"At Hackensack University Medical Center, we provide leading-edge cardiovascular care — and the Impella 5.5 represents another pioneering, life-saving treatment option we can offer to our patients before it is available at other hospitals in the region," said Mark D. Sparta, FACHE, president and chief hospital executive at Hackensack University Medical Center and Executive Vice President of Population Health at Hackensack Meridian Health.

The Impella 5.5 recently received pre-market approval (PMA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of cardiogenic shock. Cardiogenic shock is a serious condition that occurs when a patient's heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet his or her body's needs. Cardiogenic shock can happen after a heart attack or open heart surgery, or result from a condition called cardiomyopathy.

"A minimally invasive, forward flow, fully unloading heart pump that is designed for surgery is game changing," said Mark Anderson, M.D., chief of the Division of Cardiac Surgery and cardiothoracic surgeon at the Heart and Vascular Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center and Hackensack Meridian Health. "This gives cardiac surgeons a new and potentially better option that can provide the benefits of heart recovery to some of our sickest patients." 

The Impella 5.5 device — which is a short-term left ventricular assist device (LVAD) — temporarily takes over the pumping function of the heart and can be used for up to 14 days, ensuring that the heart can still pump enough blood for the body while reducing strain on the heart during recovery.

"This minimally-invasive treatment option enables a patient's heart to rest and ultimately recover, improving the patient's long-term quality of life compared to other therapies," said Joseph Parrillo, M.D., chairman of the Heart and Vascular Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center.

To date, four patients have received the Impella 5.5 at Hackensack University Medical Center. They are recovering as expected following the procedure. Hackensack University Medical Center physicians said that the Impella 5.5 was the "best option" to promote each patient's recovery after cardiogenic shock.

About the Impella 5.5

The Impella 5.5 has been designed to be inserted into the left ventricle of the heart through either the axillary artery or directly into the anterior aorta during a minimally invasive, catheter-based procedure called percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). Because the Impella 5.5 can be placed through the axillary artery, inserted through a small incision in a patient's chest, it eliminates the need for opening the chest during an invasive sternotomy or performing another procedure called left ventricle coring which can create problematic scarring.

In addition to providing surgeons with a minimally invasive solution to maintain blood flow while allowing the heart to recover, the new device has several advantages, including:

  • Forward flow design, meaning that it effectively pumps blood at a peak flow of greater than 6 liters per minute and maintains blood supply to vital organs
  • Fully unloading design, which means that it reduces the work and oxygen demands placed on the heart
  • A thinner, shorter motor housing than previous Impella models and a fiber optic pressure sensor, which allows for easier pump insertion and precise positioning
  • SmartAssist technology that provides data such as left ventricular pressure (LVP), end-diastolic pressure (EDP), and cardiac power output (CPO) to help physicians make critical patient-care decisions
  • Impella Connect, which allows clinicians to securely and remotely monitor patient data collected by the pump 24/7, through any internet-connected device

The Impella 5.5 also provides improved patient mobility, allowing patients to get up and walk around after the device is in place — promoting faster healing and speeding the recovery process.

About Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center
Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center, a 781-bed nonprofit teaching and research hospital located in Bergen County, NJ, is the largest provider of inpatient and outpatient services in the state. Founded in 1888 as the county's first hospital, it is now part of the largest, most comprehensive and truly integrated health care network in New Jersey, offering a complete range of medical services, innovative research and life-enhancing care, which is comprised of 35,000 team members and more than 7,000 physicians. Hackensack University Medical Center is ranked #2 in New Jersey and #59 in the country in U.S. News & World Report's 2019-20 Best Hospital rankings and is ranked high-performing in the U.S. in  colon cancer surgery, lung cancer surgery, COPD, heart failure, heart bypass surgery, aortic valve surgery, abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, knee replacement and hip replacement. Out of 4,500 hospitals evaluated, Hackensack is one of only 57 that received a top rating in all nine procedures and conditions. Hackensack University Medical Center is one of only five major academic medical centers in the nation to receive Healthgrades America's 50 Best Hospitals Award for five or more years in a row. Becker's Hospital Review recognized Hackensack University Medical Center as one of the 100 Great Hospitals in America 2018. The medical center is one of the top 25 green hospitals in the country according to Practice Greenhealth, and received 26 Gold Seals of Approval™ by The Joint Commission – more than any other hospital in the country. It was the first hospital in New Jersey and second in the nation to become a Magnet® recognized hospital for nursing excellence; receiving its sixth consecutive designation in 2019. Hackensack University Medical Center has created an entire campus of award-winning care, including: John Theurer Cancer Center, a consortium member of the NCI-designated Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center; the Heart & Vascular Hospital; and the Sarkis and Siran Gabrellian Women's and Children's Pavilion, which houses the Joseph M. Sanzari Children's Hospital and Donna A. Sanzari Women's Hospital, which was designed with The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center® and listed on the Green Guide's list of Top 10 Green Hospitals in the U.S. Hackensack University Medical Center is the Hometown Hospital of the New York Giants and the New York Red Bulls and is Official Medical Services Provider to THE NORTHERN TRUST PGA Golf Tournament. It remains committed to its community through fundraising and community events especially the Tackle Kids Cancer Campaign providing much needed research at the Children's Cancer Institute housed at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children's Hospital. To learn more, visit

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SOURCE Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center