A giant tractor-trailer equipped with hands-on learning technologies devoted to the use of the smallest heart pump on the market is stationed at the rear of the hospital property.

Scott Kraus, a regional director with Abiomed from Philadelphia, made his first visit to the mobile lab Thursday.

"They are going to see all five of our platforms for the left side of the heart, one for the right side of the heart and hopefully they are going to leave more comfortable being able to implant, explant and manage the technology," Kraus said.

Marsha Colwell, vice president of cardiovascular services at Redmond, said many of their team who may have to provide emergency intervention — from people in the catheterization lab to rehab folks and even the AirLife helicopter flight crews — will receive training.

The hospital does somewhere in the range of 5,000 cath lab procedures a year.

The Impella technology has been used at Redmond for several years. One procedure is for people who are too sick for surgery but not too sick for stinting of coronary disease.

“They are so sick that their heart needs support while we are even doing the stinting," Colwell said.

Other uses are for people who have suffered bad heart attacks and  typically go into shock, which means that pressure and circulation going through the heart is very weak.

"There is a high rate of mortality with those patients, so when those patients come to the lab you put the Impella in first, do a right heart catheterization so you can monitor their pressures and focus on getting their heart supported so you can open the vessel," Colwell said.

Caryn Blanton, a radiologic technologist in the cath lab, was among the first to go through the lab Thursday.

“It gives us a way to look at the whole picture, both sides of the heart and support," Blanton said. "They may need a little help pressure-wise so it was extremely beneficial and really cool to see how things affect the patient."

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