Thesis Defense Announcement
To:  The George Mason University Community

*Candidate: Cshantara L. Woolfolk
Program: Master of Science in Biology
*Date:   Thursday August 4, 2011
Time:   2:00 p.m.
Place:  George Mason University, Prince William campus <>
	     Bull Run Hall, Room 247
*Thesis Chair:  Dr. Emanuel Petricoin

Title: "*Evaluation of Patient Characteristics and Clinical Outcomes in Patients Who Have Received
Ventricular Assist Devices*"***

A copy of the thesis is on reserve in the Johnson Center Library, 
Fairfax campus.  The thesis will not be read at the meeting, but should 
be read in advance. All members of the George Mason University community 
are invited to attend.


In the United States, 5.3 million people suffer from heart failure. The 
ventricular assist device is a treatment often used for patients 
suffering from heart failure.* *This study sought to examine patient 
outcomes over the course of the ventricular assist device (VAD) program 
at Inova Heart and Vascular Institute.**
                    The objectives of this study: 1) Determine the 
effect of blood products in patients who received ventricular assist 
devices, 2) Evaluate the effects that decrease in heparin usage has had 
for patients who received ventricular assist devices, and 3) Examine 
program improvement and patient outcomes over three consecutive eras 
(2008, 2009, and 2010) of continuous flow ventricular assist devices.
The study sample consisted of 138 patients who have received a 
ventricular assist device at Inova Heart and Vascular Institute from 
January 2006 to May 2011. Primary endpoints were blood product usage, 
bleeding and adverse events.* *Several preoperative risk factors were 
found to be significant predictors of RBC and non-RBC product usage, 
emergency surgery and ejection fraction. For every unit of non-RBC 
(OR=1.1, /p/=0.008) blood product used, the odds of postoperative death 
was increased. With that in mind, there have been significant 
improvements in patient adverse events. Postoperative death (within 30 
days), postoperative renal failure, and deaths after thirty days have 
all improved since the beginning of the VAD program. Future endeavors 
should focus on continuing to improve patient outcomes specifically 
through decreasing the usage of blood products and controlling for 
preoperative risk factors.