The Mitraclip Percutaneous Mitral Valve Repair System is a minimally invasive procedure to treat mitral regurgitation, the most common type of heart valve insufficiency. The mitral valve controls normal blood flow from the left atrium to the left ventricle, two of the heart’s four large chambers. When the mitral valve doesn't close fully, blood flows backward into the upper heart chamber (left atrium) from the lower chamber as it contracts. This leads to a decrease in blood flow to the rest of the body, which may cause the heart to try to pump harder and result in congestive heart failure. Its incidence tends to become even more prevalent as the population ages, making new, less invasive treatment options welcome alternatives for a growing number of patients.
MitraClip is a cardiac catheterization procedure performed with the patient under general anesthesia. The MitraClip device is introduced through the femoral vein and advanced to the left atrium to position the clip above the mitral valve and guide it into the left ventricle of the heart. When retracted, the clip grasps the sides of the existing valves (known as leaflets) and closes them to create an edge-to-edge repair that stops the regurgitation and helps the heart pump blood more effectively. Although the effectiveness and durability of this repair typically are not as good as with surgical valve reconstruction, the MitraClip procedure offers a new therapeutic option to patients who are denied surgery because of their advanced age or other risk factors, and it is the only FDA-approved alternative to valve reconstruction surgery.
The UAB Structural Heart & Valve Program is the oldest and largest program of its kind in Alabama. It provides ongoing care – sometimes for life – to patients who have or are at risk for structural heart and valve disease. Our experienced surgeons and cardiologists take a comprehensive approach to diagnosing and treating this condition, and their expertise ranges from traditional open-heart surgery to robotic-assisted valve repair and the latest in minimally invasive surgical techniques, which require only small incisions (cuts).
The UAB Structural Heart & Valve Clinic has achieved several important milestones in the past decade. In 2012, we performed the first transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) in Alabama, and UAB has performed more TAVR procedures than any other hospital in the state. As an added service, patients who have been told by non-UAB doctors that they need valve surgery can speak to a UAB structural heart and valve surgeon for a second opinion.
UAB is an active participant in research and clinical trials. We encourage you to speak to your physician about research and clinical trial options and browse the link below for more information.View Clinical Trials
- Critical Care Transport Fun Facts
- Did its first transport in March 23, 1983 of quadruplets from UAB Hospital to Brookwood Medical Center.
- Has transported to 46 states and 38 countries
- Had the first civilian aircraft in the country with a liquid oxygen system; the oxygen canisters had serial numbers 1 and2.
- Has appeared on The Learning Channel, the National Geographic Channel, Discovery Channel, CNN, MSNBC and the film CCT team members starred in, “Johnny Flinton”, won an Oscar in 2003 for Best Short Films.
- Provided the medical team for President Bush's visit to Birmingham in 2001.
- Has performed up to 77 defibrillations on one transport. And the patient survived!
- Supplied one of the first 10 items writers for the Certified Flight Registered Nurse exam and served on the Exam Construction and Review Committee
- Has two brands of equipment that are still in use that have been used since the beginning of the program: the MVP-10 ventilator and Airborne isolette.
- Evacuated 21 patients during Hurricanes Katrina & Rita and provided staff, supplies, equipment and ambulances for NDMS (National Disaster Management System) twice in 2005
- Transported 8 babies simultaneously in the jet out of New Orleans during Hurricane Gustav in 2008
- Were the only civilian aircraft allowed back in the air on 9/11 returning a patient from Monroe, LA to UAB.
- Has the first Cessna Citation Bravo jet in the world to have a clam-shell type door installed
- Was the first U.S. aircraft to fly a new route over Cuban airspace to evacuate an earthquake victim following the earthquake in Haiti January 2010. This saved 30 critical minutes flight time, and the new medevac flight path was followed by many air ambulances afterward.
- “Ground transportation” on one international trip was a gondola in Venice.
- Supplied the ground content for ASTNA’s Transport Safety Position Paper in 2006 making it the first transport professional association to have all modes addressed in a safety position statement.
- Co-edited, authored and reviewed several chapters in ASTNA’s (Air and Surface Transport Nurses Association) Standards for Critical Care & Specialty Care Ground Transport, 2nd Edition” published in 2010. CCT also did the artwork for the book cover.
- Longest working full-time team member: Valorie Tucker, NNP, worked from 1999 – 2010, transported 1842 patients and traveled ~ 680,000 miles
- Most transports in one day – 23; Transport Coordinator Sheryl Pettis
- Most intra-aortic balloon pump transports in one day: 3 on multiple dates
- First nurse to transport 2,000 patients: John Doriety, RN, CCRN on 1-28-2016
- Critical Care Transport History
- Critical Care Transport's Jet Aircraft
- Research and Publications
- International Transports
- Frequently Asked Questions
- The Brain’s Way of Healing
- The Brain That Changes Itself
- Recovery Apps and Helpful Links
- Frequently Asked Questions
Critical Care Transport Fun Facts
Critical Care Transport…
Standing CCT Records:
Critical Care Transport History
Critical Care Transport's Jet Aircraft
This Cessna Citation Bravo twin-engine jet flies at 480 miles per hour and has an un-refueled cruising range of 1700 miles. It can accommodate two adult or neonatal patients and has seating for up to five team members. The aircraft features custom design with installed medical air, dual suction system and dual inverter; liquid oxygen, air, and inverter; sectional/removable bench seat for intra-aortic balloon pump transports; installed Air Cell telephone; interior compartment storage for medical equipment and supplies; cabin area Flight Status Panel showing air speed, distance to next stop, outside altimeter and interior cabin altimeter. It is the first Bravo in the world with a cargo door, 36 inches wide, to facilitate loading for patients on stretchers. All pilots undergo annual simuflite training and have achieved their ATP (Air Transport Pilot).
The aircraft is operated by AirMed International, Air Carrier Certificate # MDGA382G.
Research and Publications
Demmons, L., “Vehicle Specifications and Fleet Maintenance”, Treadwell, D., Santiago, J., (2019) ASTNA Standards for Critical Care and Specialty Transport, 2nd Edition, Aurora, CO, p. 102-106.
Demmons, L., Minton, R., Taylor, G., “Transporting the Deceased: Partnering with the Organ Recovery Center to Improve Transplant Outcomes”, Air Medical Journal, Nov-December 2018, 37:6, p. 374-379.
Demmons, L., “Infectious and Communicable Diseases”; Clark, D., Treadwell, D., et al (2017), ASTNA Critical Care Transport Core Curriculum, Air and Surface Transport Nurses Association, Aurora, CO, p. 423-434.
Demmons, L., James, S., (2010) ASTNA Standards for Critical Care and Specialty Ground Transport, 2nd Edition, Air and Surface Transport Nurses Association, Centennial, CO, Cottrell Printing Company.
Demmons, L., "Twenty-five Years Later: Critical Care Transport", Air Medical Journal, Nov - Dec 2008, Vol. 27, No. 6, p. 276-280.
Air and Surface Transport Nurses Association: Demmons, L, Stevens, L, High, K, Lin, J., "Transport Nurse Safety in the Transport Environment, Position Paper", Sept 2006.
Demmons, L., "Chasing Ambulance Safety", Air Medical Journal, May-June, 2005.
Gruszecki, A., Kahler, D., Smith, D., Vines, J., Lancaster, L., et al, "Utilization, Reliability and Clinical Impact of Point-of-care Testing during Critical Care Transport: Six Years of Experience", Clinical Chemistry, Vol. 49, No. 6, 2003.
Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems Best Practices, Volume II, 2001; Volume III, 2004; most cited program in Volume IV, 2007; Volume V, 2012; and Volume VI, 2017
Randolph, V., Kahler, D., Howard, C., Hortin, G., "Laboratories on the Move: Blood Gas Analysis", Laboratory Medicine, Vol. 31, No. 1, 2000.
Brunson M., Lancaster L., "Transport of Critically Ill Patients: How to Avoid Pitfalls", Clinical Pulmonary Review, Vol. 6, No. 4, July 1999.
Demmons, L., Cook,E., "Anxiety in Adult Fixed-Wing Air Transport Patients", Air Medical Journal, July - September 1997.
Worldwide transport service is available through Critical Care Transport. International transports are equipped and staffed as domestic transports
Some advance notice is required for international transports due to overnight requirements. Due to the length of some of the transports, an overnight stay may be required. All arrangements for the overnight stay, as well as all other components of the trip, will be arranged by the transport service.
Because international transports are usually not covered by insurance, financial arrangements must be secured prior to US departure.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Will insurance companies pay for the services of Critical Care Transport?
A: Most major commercial insurance companies will cover 50 to 80 percent if "medical necessity" terms are met. However, persons should check with their insurance company to discuss individual coverage.
Q: What about Medicare Coverage?
A: For medicare to cover ground/air transport, a patient must be in a condition that would justify the need for transport. "Medical necessity" must be established. In addition, for maximum coverage, Medicare requires that the patient be transported to the "nearest appropriate facility."
Q: How does CCT determine to fly or drive a patient for transport?
A: Generally, patients within 100 to 150 miles radius of Birmingham will be driven from one facility to another. The patients outside of the 125 mile radius will usually be flown from the referring facility to the receiving facility.
Q: Will Critical Care Transport move a patient to a hospital other that UAB?
A: Yes. However, for patients to be transported to a facility other than UAB, payment must be secured prior to the transport. We can bill the insurance of most patients who have Medicare or Blue Cross. Certified check, VISA, Master Card, Discover, or American Express can be used. Persons should ask the transport coordinator if their hospital or company has an agreement with CCT, as many do. If this agreement exists, then the requirements for pre-payment will be waived. Some insurance companies, with prior arrangements, will allow CCT to bill the insurance company directly.
Q. Do you have a service available if you are traveling in the U.S. or abroad, become sick or injured and want to get back home?
A. Yes. Critical Care Transport works with AirMed Intl. to provide these repatriation services for an annual fee. You may call (205) 443-4840 or go to www.AirMed.com/UAB for more information and to obtain your membership instantly.
We understand that you may have additional questions. Please feel free to contact the Critical Care Transport Coordinator at 1-800-822-6478 to have these questions answered.
The Brain’s Way of Healing
Now a New York Times Bestseller!
The bestselling author of The Brain That Changes Itself presents astounding advances in the treatment of brain injury and illness
In The Brain That Changes Itself, Norman Doidge described the most important breakthrough in our understanding of the brain in four hundred years: the discovery that the brain can change its own structure and function in response to mental experience—what we call neuroplasticity.
His revolutionary new book shows, for the first time, how the amazing process of neuroplastic healing really works. It describes natural, non-invasive avenues into the brain provided by the forms of energy around us—light, sound, vibration, movement—which pass through our senses and our bodies to awaken the brain’s own healing capacities without producing unpleasant side effects. Doidge explores cases where patients alleviated years of chronic pain or recovered from debilitating strokes or accidents; children on the autistic spectrum or with learning disorders normalizing; symptoms of multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and cerebral palsy radically improved, and other near-miracle recoveries. And we learn how to vastly reduce the risk of dementia with simple approaches anyone can use.
The Brain That Changes Itself
What is neuroplasticity? Is it possible to change your brain? Norman Doidge’s inspiring guide to the new brain science explains all of this and more
An astonishing new science called neuroplasticity is overthrowing the centuries-old notion that the human brain is immutable, and proving that it is, in fact, possible to change your brain. Psychoanalyst, Norman Doidge, M.D., traveled the country to meet both the brilliant scientists championing neuroplasticity, its healing powers, and the people whose lives they’ve transformed—people whose mental limitations, brain damage or brain trauma were seen as unalterable. We see a woman born with half a brain that rewired itself to work as a whole, blind people who learn to see, learning disorders cured, IQs raised, aging brains rejuvenated, stroke patients learning to speak, children with cerebral palsy learning to move with more grace, depression and anxiety disorders successfully treated, and lifelong character traits changed. Using these marvelous stories to probe mysteries of the body, emotion, love, sex, culture, and education, Dr. Doidge has written an immensely moving, inspiring book that will permanently alter the way we look at our brains, human nature, and human potential.
Recovery Apps and Helpful Links
12 steps AA companion
Comprehensive recovery tool includes Big Book Reader, sobriety calculator, search and more
AA Big Book and More
Ultimate Recovery Resource-The text of the Big Book and more
Narcotics Anonymous App
Basic Text of Narcotics Anonymous
One Day at a Time
Comprehensive Recovery Tool
Find A Meeting
Alcoholics Anonymous - www.aa.org
Narcotics Anonymous - www.na.org
Al -anon - www.alanon.org
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Addiction Recovery accept insurance for drug and alcohol treatment?
Yes. We are in-network for many major insurance companies. Additionally, the UAB Addiction Recovery Program is "insurance friendly," meaning that we both accept insurance and work hard with insurance companies on behalf of our clients in treatment to secure the best payment solutions for them. Our financial case managers have an expert understanding of using both in-network and out-of-network benefits, we will work closely with insurance companies to streamline the process and ensure that the patient receives the maximum benefit available. As a nonprofit organization, we also work to determine if patient aid and no- or low-interest loans are available that can be used in combination with insurance benefits for addiction treatment.
How much does drug and alcohol treatment cost?
It depends on your insurance coverage and the type of addiction treatment needed. Insurance may cover up to 90% of the costs. We offer a range of services, from less expensive outpatient rehab (for patients with less serious addiction issues) to residential programs where patients live with us for 4-6 weeks.
What kind of rehab programs do you offer?
The UAB Addiction Recovery Program offers a wide array of alcohol and drug treatment programs and services for adults and youth including specialized rehab programs for men, women, health care professionals, lawyers and pilots. Our mental health professionals are skilled at helping patients with co-occurring disorders (issues in addition to addiction, such as depression, anxiety, and eating disorders), which sets our Addiction Recovery Program apart from other alcohol and drug treatment centers. Family members play an important role in the addiction recovery process and are encouraged to attend our Family Program and Parent Program.
Do you treat conditions other than drug and alcohol addiction?
Many people who come to the UAB Addiction Recovery Program seeking treatment for their drug or alcohol addiction also may struggle with mental health issues such as depression, eating disorders, grief, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and sexual compulsivity. This combination of addiction along with a mental health issue is called "co-occurring disorders" and is quite common. The Addiction Recovery Program has medical staff, psychologists, psychiatrists, and counselors on site who are skilled at addressing the complexity of issues in co-occurring disorders alongside the addiction to drugs or alcohol.