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St. Luke`s performs another Wisconsin first in cardiac care

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

MILWAUKEE, Wis, This week, Alfred Tector, M.D., a cardiothoracic surgeon at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee, became the first doctor Wisconsin to install a new type of ventricular assist device during a heart surgery. As part of a clinical research trial, Dr. Tector implanted the Levitronix CentriMag device in a 67-year-old woman.

A ventricular assist device helps a failing heart continue pump blood more efficiently until a more permanent option or transplant can be achieved. To date, more than 275 ventricular assist devices have been implanted at St. Luke’s. That’s one of the top five highest totals of any centers in the country.

The new CentriMag ventricular assist device is unique in that it is designed to operate without mechanical bearings, seals or valves. Limited friction, heat build-up and wear during operation of the pump helps reduce the risk of blood clots. This study will evaluate the use of the CentriMag device as a way to provide temporary support for patients who experience heart failure following cardiac surgery.

``St. Luke’s is known for looking towards the future of heart care and being at the forefront of testing devices that could potentially benefit patients,`` says Dr. Tector. ``Being one of just four sites in the country that is approved to trial this investigational device is clear evidence that St. Luke’s has a national reputation when it comes to heart care.``

St. Luke’s Medical Center is the only trial site in Wisconsin for the CentriMag clinical trial.

Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center is a part of Aurora Health Care, a not-for-profit Wisconsin health care provider and a nationally recognized leader in efforts to improve the quality of health care. Aurora offers services at sites in 80 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin.

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Contact: Jennifer Gross (414-385-2363)

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