08:31am Saturday 18 January 2020

Surgeons at Barnes-Jewish Hospital first to implant world’s smallest heart pump in heart failure patient

The Impella CP is a minimally invasive catheter pump that can be used to help blood flow in patients with severe heart failure or cardiogenic shock. Inserted percutaneously through the leg, the pump is navigated through the femoral artery until it reaches the aortic valve.

“This device allows us to treat patients with decompensated heart failure who are not in a condition where they can undergo a surgery,” says John Lasala, MD, PhD, medical director of cardiac catheterization laboratory and director of interventional cardiology at Washington University School of Medicine and Barnes-Jewish Hospital. “It gives us a simpler way to have more power than we had before.”

The Impella CP is more powerful than the previous 2.5-liter device and is used as a temporary measure until a patient’s weakened heart, liver and kidneys gain the strength needed to withstand a more invasive surgery.

The Sept. 28 procedure involved a 76-year-old man in shock with heart, kidney and liver failure. When the patient recovers enough heart function, he will undergo surgery to receive a permanent left ventricular assist device.


Barnes-Jewish Hospital is a 1,288 bed teaching hospital affiliated with Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo. The hospital has a 1,763 member medical staff, with many recognized as “Best Doctors in America.” Barnes-Jewish is a member of BJC HealthCare, which provides a full range of health care services through its 13 hospitals and more than 100 health care sites in Missouri and Illinois. Barnes-Jewish Hospital is also consistently ranked as one of America’s “Best Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report.

Nicholas McLaren

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