Thoratec HeartMate II Left Ventrical Assist Device (LVAD) or a Left Ventrical Assist System (LVAS), is a mechanical heart pump that is used to continuously pump blood through the heart. It is a critical bridge device for patients with advanced heart failure who are awaiting a heart transplant.
Every year, about 4,000 people are implanted with an LVAD, and about 75% receive the HeartMate II. Unfortunately it can form deadly blood clots, according to a recent medical report.
The implanted device caused 72 blood clots in 66 patients at three institutions, where 895 devices were implanted from 2004 through 2013, according to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine. The report pooled data from the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, Washington University Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, and Duke Medical University Center.