Mr. Donald Severyn is currently a Senior Biomedical Engineer in the Clinical Artificial Heart Program (AHP) and a Research Associate in the Ventricular Function Research Group, both at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Presbyterian. He joined the AHP in 1992 while finishing his MS degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. Prior to his arrival at the university, Severyn received his BS degree in Biomedical Engineering from Wright State University in 1990.
During his graduate studies, Mr. Severyn designed and constructed a novel perfusion system which allows one to study intact vascular segments under physiologic cyclic strains and hemodynamics. Specifically, he investigated the effect of such cyclic strains on the thrombogenicity of vein grafts. Currently, he is involved in a project identifying those individuals on mechanical circulatory support that have enjoyed enough myocardial recovery to allow the support systems to be withdrawn without the need for cardiac transplant.
As a clinical engineer in the AHP, Mr. Severyn participates on a daily basis in the care of all patients at UPMC Presbyterian who are on ventricular assist devices (VAD). This includes assistance during VAD implant and explant, device monitoring and troubleshooting, as well as patient/care-giver training. These devices include intra-aortic balloon pumps (IABP) as well as the Abiomed, Novacor, TandemHeart, Thoratec, and Heartmate VADs. Additionally, he participates with STAT-MedEvac in the inter-hospital transport of cardiac patients undergoing IABP support and has completed over 100 such transports in the last 8 years. This experience has allowed Mr. Severyn to participate in the re-design of an intra-aortic balloon pump to make it more functional during helicopter, ambulance, and fixed-wing aircraft transport.
View a list of Mr. Severyn’s publications here.