Mended Hearts launches LVAD video contest

Mended Hearts, a heart patient support network, launched a video contest on Feb. 18 for people who have received a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) to treat heart failure.

Through the contest’s website, LVAD recipients can submit videos lasting 30 seconds or less, in which the recipient’s friend or family member share the best thing that happened after they received an LVAD. The contest runs through April 12.

A panel of judges will choose five winning videos. The first prize winner will be featured in a national and social media campaign, while all five will appear in media campaigns in their home regions.

St. Jude Medical, which provided support for the contest, will donate $100 to Mended Hearts for every video that meets the qualification standards as well as a $100 donation to Mended Hearts on behalf of each of the five winners. The donations could total as much as $25,000, according to Mended Hearts.

In October, St. Jude Medical completed its acquisition of Thoratec, which manufactures and markets the HeartMate II LVAD. The HeartMate II is FDA-approved for bridge-to-transplantation and destination therapy.

St. Jude Medical is also enrolling patients in a clinical trial to evaluate the HeartMate 3 left ventricular assist system, which is available in Europe but is not FDA-approved.

In August, the FDA issued a safety communications alert warning of serious adverse events associated with LVADs, including the HeartMate II and the HeartWare ventricular assist system HVAD.

Before the St. Jude Medical acquisition was completed, Thoratec also issued a voluntary urgent medical device correction letter in September telling hospitals to monitor the expiration date of the backup battery in the HeartMate II.

Mended Hearts has 20,000 members and 300 chapters in 48 U.S. states. The organization partners with hospitals and cardiac rehabilitation clinics and provides them with trained peer visitors, group meetings and educational forums.