Healthcare Industry News:  Artificial Heart 

Devices Cardiology Surgery

 News Release - June 22, 2006

1,500-Bed German Transplant Hospital to Be Certified to Implant the CardioWest(TM) Temporary Total Artificial Heart (TAH-t)

TUCSON, Ariz.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--June 22, 2006--On Thursday and Friday, June 29 and 30, senior cardiac surgeon Dr. Christof Schmid and members of his cardiac transplant team from the University of Muenster (Universitatsklinikums Munster) in Muenster, Germany, will be in Tucson for training on the CardioWest temporary Total Artificial Heart (TAH-t). The first of a three-part certification program will be conducted at the University Medical Center (UMC) Sarver Heart Center. Instructors will include Marvin Slepian, M.D., Richard Smith MSEE, CCE, and noted heart surgeon Jack Copeland, M.D.

University of Muenster will be the eighth European center and the 15th center worldwide to be certified to implant the CardioWest TAH-t.

With more than 7,500 highly qualified employees and a capacity of more than 1,500 beds, the University of Muenster is one of the largest hospitals for specialized medical care in northern Germany. Since 1993, Schmid has had vast experience with a variety of cardiac assist devices. In June 2003, he was appointed head of the Ventricular Assist Devices (VAD) and transplant program.

The CardioWest TAH-t is the only FDA- and CE-approved Artificial Heart in the world. The Artificial Heart is used as a bridge to transplant for transplant-eligible patients with end-stage biventricular heart failure who are waiting for a donor human heart.

End-stage biventricular failure is a condition in which a weakened heart loses its ability to pump blood through the body. The superior blood pumping ability of the TAH-t, up to 9.5 liters per minute, helps to rejuvenate vital organs that have atrophied because of a failing heart.

"We know that it (TAH-t) salvages a large number of patients who are really spiraling downward so rapidly that there's no other device that can bring them back and this device (the TAH-t) does it," said Copeland.

A New England Journal of Medicine paper published in Aug. 2004 states that, in the pivotal clinical study of the TAH-t, the one-year survival rate for patients receiving the CardioWest temporary Total Artificial Heart was 70 percent versus 31 percent for control patients who did not receive the device.

The TAH-t is a modern version of the Jarvik-7 Artificial Heart that was implanted in Barney Clark in 1982. In the 1990s the device and technology moved to University Medical Center (UMC) in Tucson and was subsequently renamed the CardioWest(TM) temporary Total Artificial Heart. SynCardia Systems Inc. was formed in 2001 by Marvin J. Slepian, M.D., Richard G. Smith, MSEE, CCE, and surgeon Jack Copeland, M.D.

Source: SynCardia Systems

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