Health Beat

The John Ochsner Heart & Vascular Institute (JOHVI) at Ochsner Medical Center performed the Gulf South region’s first Total Artificial Heart implant. This device is the world’s first and only FDA-approved device. In an Ochsner-generated press release, Hector Ventura M.D., Section Head, Heart Failure and Transplantation, Ochsner Medical Center, said, “We are extremely proud to be the first cardiovascular team in the Gulf South Region to offer this technology to patients suffering from end-stage heart failure. The work demonstrates our commitment to cutting-edge procedures and marks another significant milestone for our organization.” During the nearly eight-hour surgery, a team of physicians, nurses and medical professionals worked together to remove the patient’s diseased heart and implant the Total Artificial Heart. The artificial heart contains two biocompatible pumping chambers with four valves; pumping chambers are connected to an external power supply called a “driver” by two small air tubes known as drivelines. The drivelines exit the patient’s abdominal wall just below the rib cage. Once implanted, it pumps blood to vital organs, helping patients become better transplant candidates. Because of its unique design, the Total Artificial Heart doesn’t require sensors, motors or electronics of any type inside the body.

Health BeatThe LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Nursing received the Louisiana State Nurses Association (LSNA) Nightingale Nursing School of the Year Award. Criteria include comments from graduates, graduates’ employers, faculty, accreditation status, first-time passage rate on NCLEX-RN and innovations in education/teaching. LSUHSC’s School of Nursing is accredited until 2019 by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and is the only nursing school in the state within an academic health sciences center.

Health BeatMarch of Dimes will host a 3-mile walk for charity at LaSalle Park in Metairie on April 20. The organization, which began in 1938 to combat polio, currently seeks to prevent birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. The Louisiana Chapter awards grants to local organizations to meet the needs of babies and families in our communities.

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