SOURCE: Baptist Health Medical Center-Little Rock

Baptist Health Medical Center-Little Rock

October 07, 2011 17:02 ET

BAPTIST HEALTH Medical Center-Little Rock Offers State-of-the-Art Therapy Allowing a 79-Year-Old Football Coach to Return to the Field

LITTLE ROCK, AR--(Marketwire - Oct 7, 2011) - BAPTIST HEALTH Medical Center-Little Rock (BHMC-LR) is among select cardiac centers in the nation to offer the revolutionary mechanical circulatory support (MCS) therapy called Thoratec® HeartMate II® Left Ventricular Assist System (LVAS) Left Ventricular Assist System (LVAS) for the many advanced-stage heart failure patients in this area.

Coach Jimmy "Red" Parker, 79-year-old high school football coach from central Arkansas, had the Thoratec® HeartMate II® Left Ventricular Assist System (LVAS) implanted this summer at BAPTIST HEALTH Medical Center-Little Rock and is already back on the football field.

"This is a tremendous advancement in the field of mechanical circulatory support. This technology can benefit many Arkansans who suffer from end stage heart failure. Coach Parker said his goal was to return to coaching and obviously he's done well and is back on the field," said Dr. John M. Ransom, surgical director of transplant services at BHMC-LR.

Coach Parker is currently the high school football coach for the Harmony Grove Cardinals in Benton, Arkansas. It is the first time the school has ever had a football team. CBS affiliate Today's THV in Little Rock featured Coach Parker's story Wednesday, Oct. 5, at 10 p.m.

As one of the leading transplant institutes in the U.S., BHMC-LR has performed 55 successful implantations of HeartMate II's in recent years. In addition, the center offers a wide range of the latest heart failure treatment options and heart services -- including: four Heart Surgery suites, four Cath Labs, a Non-Invasive Cardiac Lab, two Electrophysiology Labs, Critical Care/Cardiovascular Intensive Care Units, a Congestive Heart Failure program and Cardiac Rehabilitation.

A mechanical circulatory support (MCS) device designed to provide long-term cardiac support, HeartMate II is much smaller than previously approved LVADs and is intended for a broad range of advanced-stage heart failure patients, including women.

The device can pump up to 10 liters of blood per minute, covering the full output of a healthy heart. It is implanted alongside a patient's native heart and takes over the pumping ability of the weakened heart's left ventricle. HeartMate II is easier to implant than prior devices, and, with only one moving part, the HeartMate II is designed to provide exceptional reliability and improved patient quality of life.

The device is designed to have a much longer functional life than the previous generation of devices and to operate more simply and quietly. The HeartMate II is currently in clinical trial for use as Destination Therapy (DT), for advanced heart failure patients who are ineligible for cardiac transplantation.

Through our Centers of Excellence, BAPTIST HEALTH Heart Services takes pride in offering a full range of care designed to meet all the cardiac needs of the people of Arkansas. We provide 24-hour chest pain centers at all of the BAPTIST HEALTH Medical Centers, along with the latest in diagnostics and interventions as well as heart surgery and transplants.

As a leading heart hospital of Little Rock, BAPTIST HEALTH offers state-of-the-art diagnostic tools and some of the best Arkansas cardiovascular surgeons available to provide you with the care you need and deserve.

BAPTIST HEALTH is the state's most comprehensive health care system. With more than 175 access points -- including major medical centers, family clinics, and therapy and wellness centers -- BAPTIST HEALTH is committed to delivering "All Our Best" in healthcare to the people of Arkansas.

For more information about BAPTIST HEALTH Medical Center-Little Rock or any BAPTIST HEALTH service, call BAPTIST HEALTH HealthLine at B-A-P-T-I-S-T (227-8478) or visit our Web site at