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Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center begins VAD program

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Novant Health is pleased to announce accreditation for a ventricular assist device (VAD) program at Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem.

Not long ago, a VAD procedure for heart failure patients was only available at some academic medical centers across the country. In recent years, the procedure has become more accessible, giving healthcare consumers more choices. In some cases, the procedure can be a bridge to a later heart transplant surgery. For others, it’s a “destination” therapy and the patient can live with the device for years. 

Forsyth Medical Center’s VAD team implanted its first left ventricle assist device, also known as LVAD—where a VAD is placed in the heart’s left ventricle—in November of 2017. A VAD, including LVAD, may be necessary for a patient when heart failure progresses to the point that medicines and other treatments no longer help. 

“Basically, (an LVAD) is a propeller-run pump,” said Dr. David Smull, a cardiologist at Novant Health Forsyth Heart and Wellness. “When you insert one end of this pump into basically the tip of the left side of the heart (the main pumping chamber), this propeller sucks the blood from the heart and it puts it into the main blood vessel of the body, the aorta, and basically does the work of the left side of the heart.”

Forsyth Medical Center’s accreditation for its VAD program was approved by DNV GL Healthcare USA, Inc., a major accreditor of U.S. hospitals that has been approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as a national facility credentialing organizations for VAD programs since 2015.

The VAD credentialing survey audits an organization's VAD program in the following areas:

  • Quality management system
  • Program management
  • Staffing management
  • Infection prevention and control
  • VAD program service delivery
  • Evaluation of the multidisciplinary approach from pre-hospital care through discharge planning

“We’re pleased to now offer our patients and their families in the Triad another high-quality healthcare option with the start of our VAD program at Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center,” said Sendee Dozier, service line director for the Novant Health Heart and Vascular Institute for the greater Winston-Salem market. “Heart conditions, including heart failure, are unfortunately common in the United States. Novant Health is dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of heart and vascular conditions, and we’ve invested heavily in the growth of our heart programs, as well as minimally invasive offerings.”

Posted on Monday, May 7, 2018