Healthcare Industry News:  Thoratec 

Devices Cardiology

 News Release - October 24, 2008

Thoratec Corporation Issues Worldwide Medical Device Correction of HeartMate II(R) Left Ventricular Assist System

PLEASANTON, Calif., Oct. 24 (Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network) -- Thoratec Corporation is initiating a worldwide medical device correction of all serial numbers of the HeartMate II Left Ventricular Assist Systems (HM II LVAS) having Catalogue No. 1355 or 102139, which have been distributed since the beginning of clinical studies in November 2003. Over time, wear and fatigue of the percutaneous lead connecting the HeartMate II LVAS blood pump with the System Controller may result in damage that could interrupt pump function, require reoperation to replace the pump and potentially result in serious injury or death. The estimated probability of the need for pump replacement due to percutaneous lead damage is 1.3% at 12 months, 6.5% at 24 months and 11.4% at 36 months.

Patients who are currently being supported by a HeartMate II LVAS should contact their doctors, who can assess the wear and fatigue of the percutaneous lead as well as provide proper instruction on management and care of the lead.

Thoratec is voluntarily issuing an Urgent Medical Device Correction notice after confirming 27 reports where wear and fatigue to the percutaneous lead necessitated pump replacement. These reports occurred over five years of clinical experience with 1,972 implants. All patients who have undergone a replacement of the HeartMate II pump survived the operation and were alive at least 30 days postoperatively. In five cases, pump replacement was not feasible and the patients expired.

The affected systems were distributed to 153 hospitals and distributors throughout the United States, Europe, Canada and other countries. The HM II LVAS can be identified by the catalogue number located on the label of the package.

Hospitals are being sent an Urgent Medical Device Correction letter identifying the probability and symptoms of the problem, and recommending that the pump be replaced as soon as possible if damage to the percutaneous lead is confirmed. Hospitals are also requested to review the instructions for care of the percutaneous lead with their ongoing HeartMate II LVAS patients. Hospitals with ongoing HeartMate II LVAS patients should contact Thoratec for further instructions if they do not receive the Medical Device Correction letter. The labeling for the HeartMate II LVAS will be revised with the updated risk information related to percutaneous lead damage. Copies of this press release may be found on Thoratec's website,, under Investor Relations/Press Releases.

Clinicians and patients with questions may contact the company at 1-800- 528-2577, or if calling from outside the USA, 1-925-847-8600 (7 days a week, 8-5 Pacific Time).

FDA has been informed of this action.

Adverse reactions or quality problems experienced with the use of this product may be reported to the FDA's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program either online, by regular mail or by fax.

-- Online:

-- Regular Mail: use postage-paid FDA form 3500 available at: Mail to MedWatch 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20852 9787

-- Fax: 1-800-FDA-0178

Source: Thoratec

Issuer of this News Release is solely responsible for its content.
Please address inquiries directly to the issuing company.

FindReps - Find Great Medical Independent Sales Reps without recruiter fees.
FindReps - available on the Apple App Store for iPhone and iPad.