This Christmas, The Prince Charles Hospital Foundation needs your help to upgrade an exciting medical research tool that was invented right here in our very own labs.
We call it the Mock Circulation Loop, and it was invented at The Prince Charles Hospital in our very own labs. What may appear at first glance to be a jumble of pipes and pistons, tubes and tanks, wires and widgets, is actually one of the most accurate mechanical representations of the human heart and circulatory system in the world.
When it was first created, the Mock Circulation Loop utilised the newest technology and was so cutting edge it was replicated in several other prestigious research institutes around the globe. But now, six years on from its invention, new technology has become available which will help us improve our Loop — and the life-saving devices it supports.
Devices like ventricular assist devices (VADs); mechanical blood pumps that keep patients who are in heart failure alive while they wait for a suitable donor heart to become available. Patients like Kelli Lucas from Bundaberg, whose heart failed on the day she gave birth to her second child, Eddie.
Kelli was flown from Bundaberg to The Prince Charles Hospital where our cardiologists had hoped Kelli’s resting heart might recover on a special life support machine in the Hospital’s intensive care unit. It determined that her only chance of staying alive was a heart transplant, and so they put her on the waiting list. And that meant implanting Kelli with two ventricular assist devices (VADs).
While undoubtedly a technological marvel, a VAD is neither robust nor reliable enough to keep a patient alive indefinitely — they are delicate and they can fail.Many of our researchers rely on the Mock Circulation Loop to improve cardiovascular assist devices and make them safer, more reliable and easier to live with.
Please donate to help us reach our goal of $85,000 before Christmas to upgrade the Mock Circulation Loop. With your help to improve this remarkable invention, our researchers can continue to develop the life-saving devices that have kept families like Kelli’s together.