Left Ventricular Assisted Device (LVAD): India

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The Times of India, Jun 09 2016

India 3rd country to manufacture LVADs 

Heart patients may soon get an alternative to a transplant, and at a fraction of current costs. Frontier Lifeline, a Chennai-based heart hospital, has tied up with Russian scientists to manufacture a low-cost mechanical heart pump, which can be surgically implanted to help the organ pump more blood with less work. It can also be a temporary measure before transplant. The `made in India' device will be available at Rs 30 lakh -against the current Rs 90 lakh -said senior cardiac surgeon Dr K M Cherian. The device, called Left Ventricular Assisted Device (LVAD), takes blood from the left ventricle and moves it to the aorta, which then deli vers oxygen-rich blood throughout the body.

The total cost of the two imported brands available ­ from the US and Germany ­ along with surgery typically crosses Rs 1.25 crore.

“In the north American region, more than one lakh people have been using the device. The need is large in India but many patients with heart failure die because they can't use this expensive device. We cannot afford to have a backup if one device fails because the cost of the backup should be borne either by the patient or the hospital. In most cases, neither can afford to do so,“ Cherian said. “This will change when we make this device in India.“ Following the MoA with the Russian manufac turers, the mechanical heart pump, called Sputnik, will be manufactured at Mediville, the SEZ Medical Science Park of Frontier Lifeline Hospitals on the outskirts of Chennai.The MoU was signed on May 23 in the presence of Indian space scientist A Sivathanu Pillai.

India will be the first Asian country and the third in the world to manufacture LVADs, after US and Germany, he said. “We will be making a state-ofthe-art device at a lower cost to make it affordable for many more Indians,“ Cherian said. Patients waiting for a heart on the transplant list can use this device until they get a suitable donor. Now patients have to wait for up to eight months. “For people who are not fit for transplant, this device can be a permanent fixture,“ he said.

Decks have been cleared for pre-clinical animal studies to be conducted at Mediville.

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