Shella Baker-Trego, an RN is the Cardiac Cath Lab at Springfield Regional Medical Center, threads the worlds smallest heart pump, called Impella device, through the simulated arteries and into the heart at one of the stations in the Abiomed Mobile Learning Lab Wednesday. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

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The Abiomed Mobile Learning Lab visited the Springfield Regional Medical Center to educate its heart care team on the Impella device and give a hands-on simulation of implanting the device.

The hospital has been using the Impella device since 2012, hospital spokeswoman Nanette Bentley said.

The Impella device by Abiomed is a small heart pump.

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“The heart’s like an engine and the engine is not working well, it can sometimes need a tow-truck to pull it forward,” SRMC cardiologist Tariq Rizvi said. “An Impella is like that tow truck, it can pull the body forward until the heart recovers and it’s time for the heart to kick in itself.”

Approximately 300 Mercy Health doctors, nurses and staff visited the learning lab to learn more about the device.

Mercy Health uses it to help ensure blood flow to organs and reduce the workload on the heart during high-risk cardiac procedures. Since its FDA approval, use of Impella heart pumps has increased the survival rates of victims of cardiac events, such as heart attacks, according to the manufacturer.

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Shella Baker Trego, a registered nurse at the hospital, said the Impella is an important device the hospital uses and the training was a good experience.

“This rests the heart so we can open the artery that’s causing the problem,” she said.

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