This medical video focuses on the new technology that is helping to save people's hearts and lives.
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Jennifer Matthews: A severe heart attack left David's heart so badly damaged, surgeons doubted he would survive surgery to unblock his arteries. David Doerfler: One artery was blocked 100 percent. The other artery was blocked 95 percent, so, I was hanging on by a thread. Jennifer Matthews: But cardiologists at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center used a new ventricular assist device called the tandem heart P-Vad to get David through surgery. Dr. Raj Makkar: This is what allowed us to make the procedure quite safe. Jennifer Matthews: The device takes over about 85 percent of the heart's pumping function. Dr. Raj Makkar: This pump is capable of pumping up to four liters of blood per minute. Jennifer Matthews: Doctors strap the mini-heart pump to the thigh then snake a catheter into the heart. Dr. Michael Lee: The pump will deliver blood into the patient's own body and will supply the needed nutrients and oxygen the patients need during their procedure, i.e. angioplasty or surgery. Jennifer Matthews: Blood is cut off to vital organs following a heart attack. This device gets blood pumping back into those organs. Dr. Raj Makkar: This is truly a lifesaving device. Jennifer Matthews: The tandem heart is a short-term fix that has bought David some more time with his wife. David Doerfler: I wouldn't be here today. Jennifer Matthews: He's now waiting for a heart transplant with the hope of gaining even more time. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.