Patients, Caregivers told to Take Proper Training for Using Heart Pump Controller

Heart PumpIn 2012, Thoratec had recalled its previous model of the HeartMate II as it found a defect in the mechanics of the device. The device was found to be capable of cutting blood flow from the pump, which could lead to death.

But such is not the case with the new model. The company has issued a warning against improper use of the HeartMate II Left Ventricular Assist System, a blood-flow regulator, which is powered with an external controller.

Four people using the Thoratec's popular heart pump died. At least two of them have died due to improper use of the device. The company said patients tried to use the backup control model. Moreover, five other patients got unconscious while trying an alternate controller.

The company said deaths or complications with regard to the device have not taken because it was faulty. It has also suggested that patients as well as carers should learn how the newer models operate.

Dr. Liviu Klein, a cardiologist at the UCSF Heart and Vascular Center, also supported the company by saying the blame does not fall on the company alone. The responsibility should be shared by the doctors and caregivers who do not spend enough time to train patients about the working of the device.

A safety advisory was sent to hospitals which included the use of pocket system controller for mini heart pump device, the HeartMate II, said Thoratec Corporation. The company is taking the matter seriously and has asked all the patients to take training on how to use the device once again.

It has also asked caregivers to take training about the usage of new controller. It was in August 2012 that the company started selling the new controller for the device in Europe and in May 2013 in the US. The news affected the company's prospects as a decline of 2.7% was seen in its shares.