Dear Members,

On Thursday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Impella heart pumps to treat patients with ongoing cardiogenic shock following myocardial infarction (MI) or open heart surgery as a result of isolated left ventricular failure. This is the first such approval for a percutaneous temporary ventricular support device. This latest approval adds to the prior FDA indication of Impella 2.5 for high risk percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), received in March 2015.

This is great news for our specialty, but even better news for our very ill patients this new technology is designed to treat. Devices that support left ventricular function remain an area of intense investigation and development, and will increase the interventional community’s ability to provide optimal patient care.

We applaud all of our industry partners who continue to innovate in this area. Consistent with our new vision statement to be unveiled at SCAI 2016, their efforts are further enabling our community’s ability to "save and enhance lives." Nearly a year ago, SCAI published an expert consensus statement on the use of percutaneous cardiac assist devices in cardiovascular care. It’s certainly worth your review.

Such developments go hand-in-hand with education. With that in mind, SCAI is continuously focused on providing cutting-edge learning opportunities to help ensure our high-risk patients receive the appropriate treatment at the right time, including the SCAI CHIP Symposium being held in conjunction with SCAI 2016 Scientific Sessions in Orlando, May 4-7.

We are also laying out further SCAI educational opportunities around cardiogenic shock. I’d be interested in hearing what YOU think and what your needs are. As always, please contact me anytime with your thoughts and concerns at president@scai.org.

Thank you,

James C. Blankenship, MD, MHCM, MSCAI
SCAI President, 2015-16