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Abu Dhabi: Saudi surgeons in Prince Mohamed Bin Nasser Hospital in Jazan have successfully implanted a ventricular assist device (VAD), a mechanical pump that’s used to support heart function and blood flow, in a 60-year-old woman with a weakened heart, local media reported.

The Jazan Health Department said the Saudi medical team performed a cardiac catheterisation, in which a heart pump device was used in the first surgery of its kind in the region.

The device takes blood from a lower chamber of the heart and helps pump it to the body and vital organs, just as a healthy heart would. A VAD may be used if one or both of the heart’s lower chambers, the ventricles, don’t work properly.

Patients may benefit from a VAD if their ventricles don’t work well due to heart disease. If they not eligible for a heart transplant, VADs can be a long-term solution to help their heart work better.

The basic parts of a VAD include: a small tube that carries blood out of the heart into a pump; another tube that carries blood from the pump to the blood vessels, which deliver the blood to the body; and a power source.

The power source is connected to a control unit that monitors the VAD’s functions. The control unit gives warnings, or alarms, if the power is low or if it senses that the device isn’t working right.

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