Baptist Health Medical Center-Little Rock Implants The State’s First Heartmate III

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Baptist Health Medical Center-Little Rock (BHMC-LR) implanted the state’s first HeartMate III, a left ventricular assist device, today as part of a clinical trial called MOMENTUM III.

“This is extremely exciting for our end-stage heart-failure patients,” said Dr. John Ransom, a cardiovascular surgeon and surgical director of the Baptist Health Heart Transplant Program. “Our program does between 30 and 40 HeartMate II patients a year. Having the HeartMate III as a potential option for some of our patients will enhance our patient outcomes.”

The Baptist Health Heart Transplant Program is currently one of only 60 select centers chosen to evaluate the Thoratec HeartMate III, left ventricular assist device, the latest advancement in mechanical circulatory support. This trial is expected to enroll more than 1,000 patients nationwide.

The HeartMate III is an implantable mechanical device that helps circulate blood throughout the body. Sometimes called a “heart pump” or “VAD” it is designed to supplement the pumping function of the heart for patients whose hearts are too weak to pump blood adequately on their own. The MOMENTUM III Clinical Trial is designed to evaluate the performance and safety of the HeartMate III at six months of LVAD support in subjects with advanced heart failure. The potential benefits of the HeartMate III include fewer complications and the device is much smaller than previous HeartMates allowing for a more active lifestyle.

“While the number of patients diagnosed with advanced heart failure continues to rise, the number of donor hearts has remained the same,” added Ransom. “LVAD’s are an important alternative not only for this group but also for our patients choosing an LVAD instead of a heart transplant.”

Baptist Health was the first in the state to perform a heart transplant in 1989 and is currently the only active adult heart transplant center in Arkansas having performed 228 heart transplants since then. The Baptist Health Heart Transplant Program is also the only facility in Arkansas implanting adult left ventricular assist devices.

Baptist Health is an Arkansas-based, locally owned and managed, not-for-profit, faith-based health-care organization. Baptist Health is Arkansas’ most comprehensive health-care system with more than 8,300 employees operating eight hospitals. For more information about Baptist Health, call Baptist Health HealthLine at 1-888-BAPTIST.