FDA approves heart pump study in New Mexico

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — An FDA-approved heart pump study is being conducted here in New Mexico with the goal of improving recovery for patients.

The Recover IV study focuses on heart attack patients and their long-term recovery. The New Mexico Heart Institute at Lovelace Medical Center is conducting the study.

To understand the importance of the study, you have to understand a heart attack happens when a part of the heart muscle doesn’t get enough blood.

Cardiogenic shock happens when the heart isn’t pumping enough blood to the rest of the body. These patients often have a 50/50 chance of survival.

It all comes down to management.

“They need aggressive management of the heart attack. They also need management of the shock, which is through supporting the blood flow to the organs. That is through a pump system,” said Dr. Mark Bieniarz, an interventional cardiologist with the NMHI.

Doctors insert a pump system, like the FDA-approved Impella CP, into the leg artery through a catheter. That catheter helps move blood to the rest of the body.

The goal is to learn how the Impella CP pump helps improve recovery, compared to standard heart attack care.

Doctors will conduct the study on very sick patients coming in with heart attacks and shock.

“We either go down one road or the other. We either place an Impella pump inside of their heart to help blood flow through the brain and the organs or we will manage them with medications or a balloon pump that is a less powerful pump,” Dr. Bieniarz explained.

They will randomly assign patients one pump or another. If a patient isn’t able to consent to it, they may still be a candidate for this study.

“The sickest of the sick patients will qualify for this trial. That means that they may not be able to consent for themselves. It can be a bit of a controversy if you’re enrolled in a trial where you can’t consent. So, part of the startup for the trial is being in the community and explaining the trial to the community,” Dr. Bieniarz said.

Patients do have the option to opt out of the study ahead of time, as well. Click here to learn more about the heart pump study in New Mexico.