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Mary Lou O'Hara, MSN, RN, CCRN
Cardiovascular Surgery

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Administrative Offices:
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
3400 Spruce Street
5000 Ravdin Courtyard
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Telephone: 215-614-0365

Contact Information (internal use only) 


Mary Lou O'Hara's primary professional interest is with the care patients requiring mechanical cardiac assist. In collaboration with Dr. Michael Acker, she developed the Mechanical Assist Device Program at HUP.

1992 MSN Adult Health and Illness: Critical Care Track
University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
1990 BSN Stockton State College, Pomona, New Jersey
Graduated with high honors and program distinction
1967 St. Francis Hospital School of Nursing
Trenton, New Jersey, Diploma
  • Sigma Theta Tau, Theta Sigma Chapter
  • American Association of Critical Care Nurses
  • International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation
  • Postoperative rewarming in the cardiac surgery patient Unpublished research, 1994
  • Data Collection
    • ECMO (NIH grant), 1970-1978
    • QOL with a Left ventricular Assist Device Multi-Center Study - 2000 AHA supported grant
  • Clinical Coordinator for research related to Cardiac Assist Devices including the HeartMate Electric LVAD, ACORN Cardiac Support Device, Thoratec Portable Driver (TLC-II), Arrow LionHeart Totally Implanted LVAD, and Robotic TECAB
  1. Palomano, RC, Vavra, ML, and Veloso, KM. Clinical aspects of surgical pain. In Issues in Perioperative Nursing. WB Saunders, Phila. 2000.
  2. O’Hara, ML Cardiac Assist Devices for the Advanced Practice Nurse. In Acute Care NP Secrets. B Todd Editor Elsevier. 2005
  3. Abstracts, Posters, and Journal Articles
    Stewart, AS, Vavra, ML, Pochettino, A, Acker MA. Treatment of septicemia in LVAD patients by explantation, cardiectomy, and transplantation. The European Association for Cardio-thoracic Surgery 13th Meeting, Glasgow, Scotland, September, 1999.
  4. O’Hara, ML, Fu, A, Wallace, P, Carboni, A, Acker, MA, Loh, E. Development of a clinical pathway for the management of TCI Vented electric ventricular assist device supported patients across the continuum of care. Cleveland Clinic Foundation Heart Failure Summit V (Poster), Cleveland, OH, October, 1999
  5. Stewart AS, O’Hara ML, Pochettino A, Rosengard BR, DeNofrio D, Loh E, Acker MA. Transplantation: a definitive therapy for assist device infection and septicemia. ISHLT 20th Annual Meeting (Poster), Osaka, Japan, April 2000.
  6. Bowen FW, Carboni AF, O’Hara ML, Jobes C, Rosengard BR, Pochettino A, Morris R, Gorman JH, Gorman, RC, Loh E, Acker MA. Successful application of emergent ECMO in a “double bridge” strategy for resuscitation of the “near dead” leading to cardiac transplantation. The Pennsylvania Association for Thoracic Surgery, Bermuda, October 2000.
  7. Reilly MP, Wiegers SE, Cucchiara AJ, O’Hara, ML, Plappert TJ, Loh E, Acker MA, St. John Sutton M. Frequency, risk factors and clinical outcomes of left ventricular assist device-associated ventricular thrombosis. Am J of Cardiol 86(10): 1156-9, 2000.
  8. Chatterjee S, Williams NN, Guy TS, O’Hara ML, Morris JB, Acker, MA. Diaphragmatic hernias associated with VADs and heart transplantation. Presented at 2nd International Meeting of the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center, Athens, Greece. Dec. 2000.
  9. Bowen FW, Carboni AF, O’Hara ML, Pochettino A, Morris RJ, Gorman RC, Gorman JH, Acker MA. Application of “Double Bridge Mechanical” Resuscitation for Profound Cardiogenic Shock Leading to Cardiac Transplantation. Annals of Thoracic Surgery. 72(1):86-90, 2001 Jul.
  10. Blomberg, PJ, DeNofrio, D, O’Hara, ML, Link, MS, Joseph, S, Homoud, M, Mark Estes, NA, Acker, MA, and Wang, P. Use of left ventricular assist devices in patients with advanced heart failure results in acute shortening of the QRS interval. Oral Presentation. NASPE, San Diego. May, 2002.
  11. Morris, RJ, Pochettino, A, O’Hara, ML, Gardner, TJ, Acker, MAA. Transplant Center Referral for Emergent Mechanical Support in the Community: Single Center Experience. Journal of HFSA. 2002; 8(4):S41.
  12. Harding, J, Goldberg, LR, O’Hara, ML, Acker, MA, Jessup, ML. Pre-operative predictors of outcome after VAD: Can we predict survivors? ISHLT abstract. Presented at 22nd Annual Meeting and Scientific Sessions, April, 2003.
  13. Morris, RJ, Pochettino, A, O’Hara, ML, Gardner, TJ, Acker, MAA. Emergent mechanical support in the community: improvement with early transplant center referral. Presented at 22nd Annual Meeting and Scientific Sessions, April, 2003.
  14. Chatterjee, S, Williams, NN, Ohara, ML, Twomey, C, Morris, JB, Acker, MA. Diaphragmatic hernias associated with ventricular assist devices and heart transplantation. Annals of Thoracic Surgery. 2004; 77 (6): 2111-4.
  15. Leshnower, BG, Gleason, TG, O’Hara, ML, Pochettino, A, Woo, YJ, Morris, RJ, Gardner, TJ, Acker, MA. Safety and efficacy of left ventricular assist device support in postmyocardial infarction cardiogenic shock. Annals of Thoracic Surgery. 2006; 81:1365-1371.
  16. O’Hara, ML, Sample, S, Williams, MA. Heart failure: from the ICU to step-down and home. Nursing Management. 2006; 37: 36-41.
  17. Gronda, E, et al. (Erratum note below) Heart rhythm considerations in Heart transplant candidates and considerations for ventricular assist devices: International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation Guidelines for the care of cardiac transplant candidate----2006. J Heart Lung Transplant. 2006; 25: 1043-56. NB O’Hara and Chambers omitted from author list. Erratum noted in October issue.
  18. Leshnower, BG, Smith, RG, O’Hara, ML, Woo, YJ, Pochettino, A, Morris, RJ, Gardner, TJ, Slepian, MJ, Copeland, JG, Acker, MA. Is the total artificial heart superior to BIVAD therapy as a method of bridging patients to heart transplantation? Presented at the STS in San Diego, Cal 2007.

Mary Lou O'Hara

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