Implantable catheter helps save man's life

11:10 AM, Mar 6, 2014   |    comments
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FALL RIVER, Massachusetts (WJAR) -- Manuel Bizarro went to St. Luke's Hospital in New Bedford, Massachusetts last September for what he thought was chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Instead, the 74-year-old man had a massive heart attack.

He was then transferred to nearby Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River.

"And despite all available conventional treatments, angioplasty, putting a special pump in his body, giving all kinds of medication, being on a ventilator, he was not getting better," said Dr. Iraklis Gerogiannis.

Bizarro was having one to two heart attacks a day for several days.

"And we were at the point that things were looking grim," Gerogiannis said.

Then a new device came to mind.

"I explained to him that this is something new. This is something cutting edge. And I thought this would give him a chance," Gerogiannis said.

It's called the Impella 5.0. It's an implantable catheter that replaces 100 percent of the heart's function.

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