Mobile learning lab to showcase tiny heart pump at Regional Health Rapid City

RAPID CITY, S.D. – Regional Health Rapid City hospital now has an interactive learning experience to train their staff on how to use what’s being called “the world’s smallest and smartest heart pump.”

The catheter-like device is inserted into the heart from the femoral artery. Once it’s in place, it pulls blood from the left ventricle through a small opening near the tip, then it expels blood into the ascending aorta. Most patients that would benefit from this device have cardiogenic shock or when someone is at very high risk for surgery.

“For the patients essentially, it saves lives. One, they can improvetheir quality of life because they don’t have so much chest pain, their shortness of breath is improved, and their exercise tolerance. They can be more active and do what they want to do. Previously before this came, patients were unfortunately sedentary because of chest pain and so on and so forth,” says Dr. Bhaskar Purushottam, an interventional cardiologist at Regional Heath Rapid City Hospital. Adding that “patients who are having ongoing chest discomfort or shortness of breath should seek care and no matter how complex it is, we can always have away to get it fixed especially now with this new device. We’ve been doing this in Rapid City Regional Hospital for a few years and we’ve had great results. So I want to thank everybody for this opportunity so that the community is aware that we can do such things here.”

Juel Rall is a patient that has received the Impella and he says he’s pretty blessed to be walking around and it’s all thanks to this little device. “Well it’s pretty you know unbelievable what they can do because I remember back in the 70’s there wasn’t nothing they could do for people. So it’s came a long ways.” He adds, “They can do a lot more surgery without opening you up. That’s what nice about it because I went in that night and went home the next day, so it was no time spent.”

Impella is the only minimally-invasive heart pump that has been approved by the F.D.A. for us in the United States.

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