Author(s): Mehlhorn U, Brieske M, Fischer UM, Ferrari M, Brass P,
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Abstract PURPOSE: We describe the LIFEBRIDGE, a portable, modular, rapidly available "plug-and-play" mechanical circulatory support system, and report its experimental safety evaluation. DESCRIPTION: The modular construction consists of a disposable patient module with cardiopulmonary bypass circuit, control module, and base module with power supply, embedded PC, and user interface. The system weighs about 20 kg, has a modular design, and has semi-automatic priming that allows action within 5 minutes, and a 7-step air elimination program that prevents air embolization. EVALUATION: In eight pigs (85 +/- 10 kg) we investigated this system using central (right atrium and ascending aorta) cannulation (n = 4) or peripheral (iliac) cannulation (n = 4). Pump flows were 5.7 +/- 0.2 L/min with central and 4.1 +/- 0.2 L/min with peripheral cannulation, yielding sufficient animal perfusion and gas exchange. Using an intraaortic 8-MHz Doppler device, we demonstrated that venous air boluses of up to 100 mL were effectively removed, thus avoiding air embolization. Changing heights between animals and LIFEBRIDGE did not affect its proper action. CONCLUSIONS: This initial evaluation demonstrates that the LIFEBRIDGE is rapidly available, provides adequate perfusion and gas exchange, and operates safely even under simulated transport conditions.
This article was published in Ann Thorac Surg
and referenced in Journal of Anesthesia & Clinical Research