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Slovenia's 1st Total Artificial Heart Patient Discharged from UMC Ljubljana Using the Freedom® Portable Driver
Date:1/19/2012

TUCSON, Ariz., Jan. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- SynCardia Systems, Inc. (www.syncardia.com), manufacturer of the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart, announced today that on Dec. 29, 2011, University Medical Center (UMC) Ljubljana discharged Slovenia's first Total Artificial Heart patient, 61-year-old Nikola Gaspic, to wait for a matching donor heart at home using the Freedom® portable driver.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120119/LA37985)

"The Total Artificial Heart was the perfect solution to bridge this patient to a transplant because he had a ventricular septal defect (VSD). For VSD, there are no other effective treatments," said Dr. Ivan Knezevic, Director of the Transplant and Mechanical Circulatory Support Program in the Department of Cardiovascular Surgery at UMC Ljubljana.

Previously healthy, Mr. Gaspic suffered a heart attack that created a hole in his septum (VSD), which is the wall that separates the left and right ventricles of the heart. He was placed on inotropes and implanted with an intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP), but he continued to deteriorate. To save his life, on Oct. 19, 2011, doctors implanted the Total Artificial Heart as the only suitable treatment option.

The implant surgery was performed by Dr. Knezevic and proctored by experienced Total Artificial Heart surgeon Dr. Latif Arusoglu. It was the first implantation of SynCardia's Total Artificial Heart in southeastern Europe.

UMC Ljubljana is Slovenia's biggest hospital and its only transplant center. Each y
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SOURCE SynCardia Systems, Inc.
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