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Christ Hospital one of few in country testing heart featured on 'Grey's Anatomy'

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CINCINNATI - The doctors on "Grey's Anatomy" used a groundbreaking new device to save a heart patient's life during Thursday night's episode.

Life will imitate art in Cincinnati when it becomes one of the few places in the country using that same procedure.

The device is called the Parachute IV designed by Cardiokinetix. It's a treatment for patients with heart failure that works by creating a barrier between the damaged part of the heart muscle and the healthy, functional part of the heart the muscle damaged by a heart attack.

9 On Your Side talked to a nationally recognized heart failure specialist and lead investigator of a trial on the device at Christ Hospital, Dr. Eugene Chung.

"It's a parachute-like device that almost looks like a coffee filter and it's placed inside the heart, right at the tip, to make the heart effectively a little smaller," said Dr. Chung, who is the Director of Heart Failure for both the Ohio Heart and Vascular Center and the Christ Hospital Lindner Center for Research and Education.

The device is implanted in the left ventricle through a small catheter inserted in the femoral artery. The entire procedures takes about 75 minutes, according to the Cardiokinetix website.

It's the first minimally invasive treatment in history. 

"It's partitioning off parts of the heart that are not really contributing to function and probably contributing to more stress and making the heart bigger," said Dr. Chung who added that the Parachute is helping to stop a "bad thing" from happening to your heart.

Arkansas Heart Hospital is the first in the nation to successfully implant what's called a Parachute Device inside a human during current clinical trials, according to KATV in Arkansas.

The Parachute was used by the doctors at Seattle Grace on "Grey's Anatomy."

Dr. Chung told 9 On Your Side that a physician from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland who has performed this procedure was on the "Grey's Anatomy" set during the filming of the show.

Data from a two-year trial shows the Parachute improved patients' overall health and quality of life.

The trial is about to start at Christ Hospital but they are still looking for heart failure patients to participate.

If you'd like information on the Christ Hospital study or would like to participate in the trial, you can find more information by clicking on the following link: http://lindnerresearch.com/trials/Clinical-Trials-Details/?trialid=264&trial=PARACHUTE

For more information on the parachute device visit the following link:
http://www.cardiokinetix.com/products-devices/

Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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