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Sharp Memorial Hospital Tests New Heart Pump

Sharp Memorial Hospital Tests New Heart Pump
San Diego's Sharp Memorial is one of only six hospitals in the country that's testing whether a new mechanical pump can help people with severe heart disease.

There are few options for the estimated 150,000 Americans with end-stage heart disease.

One of them is being tested at San Diego's Sharp Memorial Hospital.

Sharp is involved in a nationwide clinical trial to evaluate the performance of a left ventricular assist device called the HeartMate 3. It helps the heart pump blood in patients whose hearts are too weak to do it on their own.


The trial will determine whether patients do better with this new mechanical heart pump than they do with its predecessor.

Dr. Rob Adamson, Sharp Memorial Hospital’s director of cardiac transplantation, said mechanical pumps can buy someone time while they’re waiting for a donated heart.

"But in this country, a few thousand donors are available each year, and each year we have 500,000 people dying of end-stage heart disease," Adamson said.

Adamson’s team installs up to 75 mechanical heart pumps each year. He said they generally improve patients’ survival and quality of life.