Posted by: Marlenia Thornton

mthornton@klkntv.com

Dozens of doctors and nurses with CHI Health Nebraska Heart Institute had a unique learning experience Thursday.

They participated in the Abiomed mobile learning lab to learn about the Impella heart pump.

The company said it's the world's smallest one.

It's inserted through the leg and sits in the heart to improve blood flow.

Doctors said the pump helps keep the patient alive while they search for more permanent solution.

"There are some conditions, which are temporary and the heart does improve this would be a little bridge that we have until the patient improves,” Nebraska Heart Institute Cardiologist Dr. Vish Bhoopalam said.

The mobile lab travels throughout the nation to give hospitals hands–on experience with the device.

Nebraska heart has been using this technology for nearly three years.

The lab allows more of its staff to get training in a low stress environment.

"It’s always great to put your hands on the equipment outside of when the patients have it. It's just a great learning environment,” Nebraska Heart Institute Nurse Kevin Mendenhall said.

The Impella heart pump has supported more than 37,000 patients in the U.S.

Doctors said it's the first device that has changed how well patients recover.

"In the cases I’ve used it made a significant difference. Some of those patients I don't think they would've recovered and survived without this,” Nebraska Heart Institute Cardiologist Dr. Doug Netz said.

The Abiomed mobile lab's next stop is Michigan.

It will be heading there Friday.