Cardiologists use nation’s first alternative access point for heart device to save a veteran

In a first of its kind in the United States, cardiologists at Loma Linda University International Heart Institute have performed a pioneering coronary intervention with an Impella heart assist device and stent placement through single access from the axillary artery in the shoulder. The new procedure offers surgeons another option to help save the lives of people suffering from severely calcified coronary heart disease, which kills more than 370,000 Americans every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Seventy-year-old Vietnam veteran David Quiett presented at Loma Linda University Medical Center with a heart attack. Physicians quickly learned that he had severely calcified coronary artery disease in his major arteries. He was in need of stents and a heart-saving pumping device. But surgeons were unable to insert both interventions in separate vascular entry points because of the patient’s calcification. The pumping device is usually inserted through the femoral artery near the groin, and stents are placed through a separate artery.

Due to the patient’s condition, there were no viable traditional arterial access points. With no options left, Loma Linda University Heart Institute interventional cardiologist Aditya Bharadwaj, MD, used the axillary artery—a major artery in the shoulder—to install the stents and the pumping device. But this involved risks because working with arteries near the neck creates a greater risk of stroke.

Bharadwaj said the success of the procedure opens the door for patients around the country to have more viable cardiovascular intervention surgeries.

“Physicians have conducted single-access procedures through the femoral artery near the groin but never through the axillary artery,” Bharadwaj said. “In this day and age, nearly any challenge can be overcome. Patients who are not eligible for bypass or stents will now have more options.”

Quiett and his wife Ann are grateful for the expertise and care they received at Loma Linda University International Heart Institute.

“I am grateful the ambulance took my husband to Loma Linda University Medical Center because they are the poster child of what a hospital should be, from care to expertise,” Ann said. “They saved my husband’s life.”

Quiett was up walking several hours following the procedure, talking, eating and even gave his surgeon a thumbs up. He was safely discharged two days later.

For more information about the International Heart Institute and all they have to offer, visit their website.

Loma Linda University Health includes Loma Linda University's eight professional schools, Loma Linda University Medical Center's six hospitals and more than 900 faculty physicians located in the Inland Empire of Southern California. Established in 1905, Loma Linda University Health is a global leader in education, research and clinical care. It offers over 100 academic programs and provides quality health care to over 40,000 inpatients and 1.5 million outpatients each year. A Seventh-day Adventist organization, Loma Linda University Health is a faith-based health system with a mission "to continue the teaching and healing ministry of Jesus Christ."

This article was written by Heather Jackson and originally appeared on the LLUH website. Photo courtesy of LLUH.

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Awesome…advances in technology still help thousands. Great story.


Yes Kim, medical advances in heart issues/treatments (and other areas) are saving millions of lives. I suffered a heart attack last Sunday 11/10/19, and I am typing this reply by the Grace of God and the most wonderful medical Doctors, Nurses and associated staff here in Australia.

Also, I had to be flown by our Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) to the Capital (Brisbane) of our State for the inserting of Three Stents.

Australians who read this post and others in the world where such a service exists please donate to such a service, it does save lives !!

In the last week I have seen the loving Spirit of Jesus in so many people who may never set foot inside a Church. These people toil long hours to save lives, no matter who you are, and I praise God for their love and concern for a patient’s welfare.

Loma Linda is a beacon for the love of Jesus that should be exhibited by all members of our church, and by this we should be known.

God Bless all the medical workers in the world for their dedication.

In Jesus Name,

Joe Ryan


I am grateful for all of the dedicated and caring medical personnel who have assisted me throughout my lifetime, too. Happy that you are alive and well to share your story, Joe. :slight_smile:


Yes, many AMAZING possibilities have been achieved in medicine since
my student nursing days – early 1960’s.
I have been the recipient of several of those since 2002.
Current Cancer treatments do not work for everyone, but 1000’s
are enjoying a longer productive life because of the ability to understand
God’s creation better these days.
For many with surgical risks, new techniques save their lives, and hospital
days are short.
HIV meds are allowing persons to live many decades. Where prior it was a
certain, unpleasant death.

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