Arkansas Business' 25 Health Care Advances (25th Anniversary)

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Mar. 23, 2009 12:00 am  

The staff and crew of Baptist MedFlight.

18. Berlin Heart
Arkansas Children's Hospital received the OK from the Food & Drug Administration to use the Berlin Heart to support a child's failing heart. The Berlin Heart is a blood pump that wasn't approved for use in the United States except in cases of an emergency. It treats heart failure until a heart transplant can be performed. It was the first time the device was used in Arkansas and at the time, only 12 other pediatric patients had the device. In October 2008, the Berlin Heart received FDA approval for clinical trials.

19. Bicompartmental Knee Resurfacing
Dr. Richard Evans, director of the UAMS Center for Hip & Knee Surgery, became the first surgeon in Arkansas and among the first in the country to perform a "bicompartmental knee resurfacing," which used metal implants to create new joint surfaces. Before this procedure, there was little surgeons could do to relieve arthritis pain other than a total knee replacement.

In 2007, Evans also performed the first hip resurfacing procedure in Arkansas. Rather than replacing the entire hip joint, hip resurfacing shaves a few millimeters of bone and places a metal cap and socket over the two joint surfaces. The surgery is an alternative to a total hip replacement for younger, more active patients.

20. Pentacam
UAMS was the first hospital in Arkansas to acquire the newest version of the Pentacam, which is a diagnostic tool used to measure the refractive characteristics of the eye. The Pentacam is used to determine which patients are good candidates for refractive surgery and to find patients who have had refractive surgery and may now need cataract surgery. At the time, only 25 other medical facilities had one.

21. Cooling Cap
Neonatologists at Arkansas Children's Hospital were the first in the world to treat an infant with a newly approved "cooling cap," which helps reduce brain injury in full-term infants who have been oxygen-deprived before or during birth. The cap cools the brain and can save 80 to 90 percent of the brain cells that otherwise would have died.

22. UAMS Psychiatric Research Institute
UAMS opened the Psychiatric Research Institute, one of only nine institutions in the country to combine inpatient and outpatient treatment with education and research. It is estimated that the PRI will have 60,000 patients annually. The six-story, 110,000-SF building has 40 inpatient beds and research, clinical, educational and administrative space.

23. EnSite System
Arkansas Heart Hospital in Little Rock became the first hospital in Arkansas to use a new technology for arrhythmia procedures. The EnSite System is used to visualize patients' hearts and to help determine the cause of arrhythmias. The system is designed to provide highly detailed, 3D cardiac images at the time of an electrophysiology procedure.

24. On-call Neurologists
UAMS was the first in the nation to partner with rural independent hospitals to provide a neurologist on call 24 hours a day through a two-way interactive video to help treat stroke patients. Two neurologists at UAMS and one at Sparks Regional Medical Center in Fort Smith remain on call with the video equipment at their office and home.

Arkansas ranked third-highest among all states in stroke deaths with 61 per 100,000 residents. As of February, six rural hospitals in Arkansas were in the program. More hospitals were expected to join the network in 2009.

25. Robotic Radical Trachelectomy
UAMS' Dr. Alexander "Sandy" Burnett became the first surgeon in Arkansas, and among the first in the world, to use a robotic procedure to remove a 25-year-old woman's cancerous cervix through the abdomen while preserving her ability to have children. Burnett used the da Vinci surgical robot in the radical trachelectomy. Traditionally, women with cervical cancer had been treated with hysterectomies that removed all their reproductive organs.


(Click here to see all the stories in our anniversary edition. Or click here to flip through each page of the edition in this special free electronic version.) 



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