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KDMC Among First in U.S. to use Impella Heart Assist Device

Impella Device 1ASHLAND, KY — The King’s Daughters cardiac catheterization team and interventional cardiologist Arshad Ali, M.D., recently made history when they treated a patient with the Impella ® LP2.5 heart assist device.

King’s Daughters, through the Kentucky Heart Institute research arm, is first in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia, and among the first in the U.S., to participate in clinical trials of the Impella device—a catheter-based, minimally invasive option for patients whose hearts require added support to maintain good blood flow. The device can be used for up to five days to reduce the heart’s workload by assisting the left side of the heart in pumping oxygenated blood to the body. This allows hearts to heal and recover better, and also enables the patient to undergo needed balloon angioplasty and stenting procedures that they otherwise might not be able to tolerate.

“Impella is placed into the left ventricle over a guidewire. The device has a tiny motor that pulls oxygenated blood out of the left heart chamber and into the aorta for delivery to the rest of the body,” Dr. Ali says. “This device can help patients who otherwise would not be a candidate for needed angioplasty and stenting because of weak heart function.”

The Kentucky Heart Institute, in conjunction with other leading cardiovascular research organizations, are evaluating the effectiveness of the Impella device through the national PROTECT II clinical trial. This study follows Abiomed’s previous PROTECT I pilot trial which yielded successful results for device ease-of use and safety.

Developed by the Abiomed Company, Danvers, Mass., the Impella already is in use in Canada and Europe, and has treated more than 1,000 patients in need of cardiac support resulting from a heart attack or other complicating conditions.

“We’re very excited to be on the leading edge of cardiovascular treatments through our participation in research studies of new devices and medications,” says cardiologist Robert Touchon, M.D., medical director of the Kentucky Heart Institute. “Local patients who have enrolled in these trials are among the first in the country to benefit.”

Dr. Touchon said the Kentucky Heart Institute currently is participating in 10 national drug and device clinical trials. “We are among a select group chosen to participate because of the skill of our cardiovascular team, our high volume of procedures, and our quality outcomes.”

To learn more about the Kentucky Heart Institute, visit, or call 1.888.377.KDMC.

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