Cardiac equipment in helicopter saves life of Fort Dodge man

Nov. 04, 2015

Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines is now using a new transport version of a cardiac balloon pump. The device can be carried aboard either of the two Mercy One helicopters. This pump which can help save the lives of patients suffering from cardiac failure is thanks to a donation from the Iowa Heart Center Foundation.

The Iowa Heart Center Foundation provided matching funds needed to purchase the new hi-tech piece of equipment, called a CardioSave intra-aortic balloon pump, for Mercy One. The new device which is much smaller and lighter has already been used multiple times, including a transfer from Fort Dodge and helped save a life. A generous donation from a former Iowan with Webster County ties made this possible.

The light and compact CardioSave Rescue balloon pump fits securely inside the Mercy One helicopters and can easily be transferred to and from the bedside along with the patient. This transportability eliminates potential gaps in care that could occur when transitioning to or from an aircraft. Previously Mercy One was using a balloon pump that was not well suited for helicopter use and was twice the size and nearly two and one half times the weight of the new model. The increased size and weight of the previous model made it difficult for the flight crews to lift and maneuver compared to the CardioSave.

The battery-operated and portable balloon pump, which is inserted into an artery to increase blood flow to the heart, is used to “buy time” until the patient can undergo treatment.

“We are proud to be able to provide this lifesaving care and equipment to regional hospitals and their patients,” said Dennis Cochran, Mercy One program manager. “The donation from this generous person and organization help us better provide critical care to rural Iowans when they need it.”

About the Iowa Heart Foundation

The mission of the Iowa Heart Foundation is to promote cardiovascular health in our communities through increasing awareness, providing access to information and assisting those in need.  The Foundation initiatives are carried out in the following areas: charitable healthcare services, professional education and community service.