Heart-Lung machines had less in common with the elegant functionality of normal hearts and lungs and more in common with machines. They were clunky, largely immovable, and difficult to operate.
MAQUET of Germany has changed all that with the development of Cardiohelp, the world’s smallest heart-lung machine. About the size of a suitcase and just as portable, Cardiohelp is a blend of design and functionality that will bring life-saving therapies to medicine that’s increasingly “on-the-go.”
According to Christian Keller, Chairman of Maquet Cardiopulmonary AG, "(The) vision was to transfer our know-how from heart surgery, and therefore the principles of extracorporeal oxygenation and mechanical cardiac support, into other areas. In combination with first-class mechanical respirator systems, Maquet is the only manufacturer worldwide offering a complete therapy concept for patients with the most severe types of lung disease."
In addition, Cardiohelp can be operated with a single turn-press button and a touchscreen. It is equipped with USB and Ethernet ports to enable data transfer and can operate via rechargeable batteries or external power.
The device will be available in select markets of Europe in 2009, but not in the United States, as the US Food and Drug Administration has yet to clear the device for use.