New heart pump used in Singapore for the first time

The HeartMate 3 artificial heart pump is implanted directly onto a patient’s heart to help it pump oxgen-rich blood to the rest of the body.
The HeartMate 3 artificial heart pump is implanted directly onto a patient’s heart to help it pump oxgen-rich blood to the rest of the body. PHOTO: THORATEC CORPORATION
Mr Rajamohan s/o Pekrisamy (2nd from left), Asia’s first patient to be implanted with the new HeartMate 3 heart assist device, with the medical team at the National Heart Centre Singapore, from left: Professor David Sim and heart surgeons Dr C Siva
Mr Rajamohan s/o Pekrisamy (2nd from left), Asia’s first patient to be implanted with the new HeartMate 3 heart assist device, with the medical team at the National Heart Centre Singapore, from left: Professor David Sim and heart surgeons Dr C Sivathasan and Adjunct Associate Professor Lim Chong Hee.PHOTO: NATIONAL HEART CENTRE SINGAPORE.

SINGAPORE - A new heart pump, that has shown an improved survival rate and fewer heart failure symptoms in advanced heart failure patients, has been used in Singapore for the first time, said the National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS) on Thursday (Jan 21).

After a one year trial involving 50 patients from six countries, results showed a survival rate of 92 per cent among these patients, and 83 per cent had significantly fewer heart failure symptoms.

Last November, this device was implanted in a 44-year-old patient here - the first in Asia to receive it.

Called The Heartmate 3, the device aims to prolong lives of patients on the waiting list for donor hearts. About 30 per cent of them now die while waiting, said the NHCS.

"Without the heart assist device, less than half of these patients will survive beyond one year just on medications alone," said Adjunct Professor Lim Chong Hee, senior consultant of the department of cardiothoracic surgery.

The new device runs on a new technology that aims to reduce the risk of blood clots forming. It is also the first heart pump that has an artificial pulse that mimics the natural heartbeat, reducing the likelihood of blood clotting.

Two lithium batteries ensure that the patient can be out and about for about 17 hours before they need to be recharged.