Top metro Detroit cardiologists team up to test new heart pump

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Top cardiologists in metro Detroit have teamed up to help patients survive a massive heart attack.

The impella pump is a tiny pump with a huge job and it's a game changer. The pump pulls blood out of the heart and sends it to the entire body.

When someone is having a heart attack, the goal is to get to the blockage and clear it. Sometimes the heart attack is so massive, it causes a life-threatening condition called cardiogenic shock.

Dr. William O'Neill, Cardiologist, Henry Ford Health System said, "People who are in cardiogenic shock what does that mean, massive heart attack 5 percent such a large heart attack the body goes into shock."

Usually, half of those patients die.

Dr. O'Neill and his colleagues at Beaumont, DMC, Providence, St. John, Saint Joseph wanted to change that.

So, they teamed up, each using the same approach to treat patients in cardiogenic shock and get the impella pump in before you start to work on the blockage.

Instead of each doctor only analyzing the results from a few patients they put their results together.

"The last six months we treated 30 patients, expected 15 to die, only 6 died. Dramatic improvement, far better norm for this disease.", said Dr. O'Neill.

The impella pump can stay in the body for a few hours and up to a week to let the heart recover.

The team research done at metro Detroit hospitals will have a ripple effect throughout the cardiology community nationwide.

Dr. O'Neill said, "We're saying Detroit can be a model for the country by collaborating doctors not competing to treat this lethal disease."