A father-of-three has become the first ever recipient to be fitted with a miniature heart pump.
Harold Chivers, a 63-year-old man from Bangor, County Down, is the first person in the world to get the Miniaturized Ventricular Assist Device (MVAD) implanted. It is an artificial heart pump the size of a golf ball could transform thousands of dying patients’ lives.
The £80,000 device is the smallest in the word and has sophisticated controls and settings that allow it to adapt to the patient’s lifestyle. It sits right next to the heart and helps it to pump blood.
According to consultant cardiac surgeon, Professor Schueler, there were hundreds of thousands of people with advanced heart disease, and in the past treatment was limited to an “elite” few who could receive a transplant.
They have now the choice to get these revolutionary devices. It is the fourth generation and they are tiny,” he said.
Weighing 78g and being 22cc big, the MVAD is about the size of a golf ball, around half as large as previous devices.
Our patient is doing very well today. We will send him home next week. He is in the process of being taught how to use it, keep it clean and how to change the batteries,” Prof Schueler said.
Freeman’s Ventricular Assist Device Co-ordinator, Neil Wrightson, believed that the new pump’s size made it a huge step forward. He also stated that because of its small size it could be suitable for children with heart disease.
While Harold Chivers was the first, dozens of patients will now be part of a trial process as the MVAD is tested in medical centers around the world.