A novel pulsatile, low haemolysis blood pump

All mammals have evolved with beating hearts.  Every organ and tissue in the body has evolved to expect a pulsing blood flow.  The size and shape of the pulses depends on the position in the body, but all expect a pulsing flow.  A pulsing flow delivers more energy than a steady flow and keeps small capillary blood vessels open.  These vessels tend to close up with a steady blood flow with observed deleterious effects. These effects include aortic valve failure in the heart, Von Willebrand’s syndrome (resulting in haemorrhage), and “pump head”.  “Pump Head” arises in a number of patients who recover from surgery having been supported by a heart/lung machine with a steady blood flow.  The symptoms are mental confusion which can last for months and occasionally for ever.  Blood pumps are used for a wide range of applications including cardiopulmonary bypass, extracorporeal life support, and normothermic transplant organ perfusion.  Currently, standard practice is to employ centrifugal pumps or peristaltic pumps; both of which give a steady or nearly steady blood flow.  Haemair have developed a pulsatile pump that can mimic the pulse profile observed around the body.  As well as reproducing the natural pulsing flow of blood, an important consideration is that the pump should not damage the red blood cells.  Cells that are damaged no longer function and release their contents into the blood plasma.  The damage is known as haemolysis.  The innovative Haemair pump has been tested against leading commercial centrifugal and peristaltic pumps and found to cause significantly less haemolysis than either.

The Haemair pump head design

The pump head is the only part that contacts blood and needs to be replaced when the system is used for another application.
As illustrated, it is a relatively simple and inexpensive item.




Pump head and oxygenator boxed ready for delivery