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New heart pump could cut stroke risk

Posted Feb 14 2011 12:00am
A Quebec woman is the first Canadian to test a new heart pump that is expected to significantly reduce the risk of stroke, making her Valentine's Day especially sweet.

In December, doctors at McGill University Health Centre installed a C-Pulse cuff on 54-year-old Lauza Legere's aorta to pump oxygen through her body.

The cuff moves blood by rhythmically squeezing her aorta, something Legere's body wasn't doing properly since her August heart attack.

Heart pumps are often temporarily implanted inside the aorta, the body's largest artery, but the C-Pulse is placed outside. The cuff then inflates and deflates with each heartbeat.

"I feel much better than before," Legere said in a telephone interview, explaining that before she got the pump it was hard to even take a breath.

"I stopped every two or three words because I was out of breath. I wasn't able to walk. With the pump, it helps my heart to get the oxygen that I wasn't able to have."
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Source: CBC Health News

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