Spring 2013 Breakthroughs


at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine


Genomic Profiling

Physicians can now take advantage of a
new genetic test. One of the earliest of
its kind to be offered in the United States,
the analysis can help determine the best
treatment for cancer patients. Genomics and
Pathology Services at Washington University
(GPS@WUSTL) offers physicians a test
that examines 40 genes for mutations that
reveal abnormalities in a tumor’s cellular
machinery. This information can be used by
oncologists treating a variety of tumors and
blood cancers. GPS testing also supports the
discovery of new genetic markers through clinical research in oncology and other areas.

Visit gps.wustl.edu or call 314-747-7337


Innovative ICU

The design of the new 36-bed 4400 intensive
care unit (ICU) was influenced by staff
input and techniques gleaned from the
automobile industry. The result: hallways
2 feet wider than standard and rooms that
are longer. Beds rotate to face windows,
reducing the risk of ICU delirium that causes
patients to lose track of day/night cycles.
Ceiling-mounted booms hold equipment and
reduce room clutter. And a “sterile square”
positioned inside the room’s doorway
reminds staff and visitors just how far they
can enter the room without wearing gloves
and a gown. This innovation, one of the
first of its kind in the United States,
reduces costs and protects patients.


Mini VAD

On Sept. 12, 2012, Washington University
physicians at Barnes-Jewish Hospital were
the first in the United States to implant a
new mini ventricular-assist device (VAD), the
Impella CP, into a patient with heart failure.
This small VAD was inserted via a catheter
rather than an open procedure. About the
size of a coffee stirrer, the new device is the
world’s smallest heart VAD, yet it can pump
up to 4 liters of blood per minute, helping
blood flow in patients with severe heart
failure or cardiogenic shock.

To learn more about VADs and their use in
treating heart disease, visit BarnesJewish.org/vad.

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