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.