In Cecy’s room, a team of medical staff surrounded her bed. Andy approached Cecy, placed his hand on her shoulders and said, “Everything will be okay.” A code alerting the rapid response team then sounded throughout the hospital.
Cecy’s poor breathing required her to be intubated and her blood pressure was very low despite multiple medications. Cecy’s heart was failing and she was in cardiogenic shock, a life-threatening condition in which the heart is suddenly unable to pump enough blood and oxygen to support the body’s vital organs.
Once in the catheterization lab, Dr. Julia Ansari, interventional cardiologist and director of the catheterization lab, knew the Impella® heart pump would be needed to support Cecy’s weak heart. She inserted the Impella CP® heart pump through the femoral artery of Cecy’s groin to the heart’s main pumping chamber. The cardiology team then ran a diagnostic angiogram to identify why her heart had weakened. To their surprise, Cecy did not have post-partum cardiomyopathy but instead, she had significant blockages in every main artery of her heart. Diabetes and Addison’s disease are risk factors for premature coronary disease. Fortunately with the support of the Impella heart pump, Dr. Ansari placed stents and restored blood flow to Cecy’s heart without surgery.