World’s smallest heart pump set to save lives at The Vic

Consultants at Blackpool Victoria Hospital have used an innovative device for the first time in Lancashire to perform a lifesaving procedure.

The Impella Heart Pump, the world’s smallest heart pump, was purchased by Blue Skies Hospitals Fund for the renowned Cardiac Centre. Nine of these single use pumps were purchased at a cost of £8,500 each.

Consultant Cardiologist, Dr Billal Patel and his colleague Dr Andrew Wiper were instrumental in putting together the application for funding, as they felt it could be life changing for some patients.

Dr Patel expressed his thanks to the charity for Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for funding the device.

“This is a really big step for us and a huge step for Blackpool. We may only need it for six patients a year, but for those six, it’s potentially the difference between life and death.”

The pump is inserted into the patient’s leg and guided through the femoral artery towards the heart, where it assists the flow of blood by passing it into the aorta. The support that it provides means that the procedure no longer poses a high risk to the patient’s life, and the chances of survival are much greater.

The patient who underwent the procedure, Daniel “Danny” Harris, 77, expressed his sincere gratitude to the staff.

He said: “They’ve done the impossible. It’s helped one life so how many more can it help now? Thank you very much indeed for saving my life.”

After spending some time recovering in hospital, Danny is thankful that he’ll soon be able to head back home to his wife in Barrow-in-Furness.

Head of Fundraising at Blue Skies, Kila Redfearn, was able to witness part of the procedure. She said: “We get lots of funding applications through at Blue Skies but it never fully hits home how life changing they can be. To watch the staff in action and listen to them explain how incredible this heart pump really is, it’s just breath-taking.”