Nearly 5 million Americans live with failing hearts, and that number keeps going up each year. Since the numbers of donations available are lesser than the number of hearts required, engineers had to come up with alternative technologies. This lead to the development of a new device. It’s called a left-ventricular assist device — also known as an LVAD. In the past, LVADs were only used on patients awaiting a heart transplant. But now, they may also benefit those who are not candidates for a transplant — and could even double their survival rate.
First used for patients awaiting heart transplants, left-ventricular assist devices (LVADs) are now enhancing the quality of life of patients with heart failure. Doctors place the device in the abdomen and connect it to the left ventricle. Once implanted, it takes blood out of the failing heart and pumps it into the body, offering relief for patients with heart failure.