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VCU Medical Center leads study of first US portable driver for powering the total artificial heart
Date:9/9/2010

is driver thanks to advances in engineering is 13 and a half pounds and can be worn in a backpack, and we will be able to discharge stable patients away from the hospital to await their transplant," Hess said.

The SynCardia Total Artificial Heart currently used at the VCU Medical Center is approved as a bridge to human heart transplant for patients dying from end-stage biventricular failure.

The portable driver features two onboard lithium-ion batteries and a power adaptor. It is designed to be carried by the patient in a backpack or shoulder bag. Another participating medical center, Mayo Clinic Arizona, discharged a patient with the driver in May.

Vigneshwar Kasirajan, M.D., chair of cardiothoracic surgery and director of the Pauley Heart Center's heart transplantation program, said he anticipates a two-to-three week period from the time of implant to switchover to the driver and then two weeks to discharge.

"We have already talked with some of our patients about potentially being able to go home with a driver and a lot of the patients are excited by it the possibility they could actually go home while they're waiting for a transplant," Kasirajan said. "Right now the average waiting time for a transplant is about three months for patients with the artificial heart, so I think for patients, it's a great opportunity to be able to go home."

The clinical trial is approved to enroll 60 patients. The VCU Medical Center has one of the best success rates in the country in artificial heart implants, with an approximate 85 percent survival rate among patients since 2006.


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Contact: Anne Buckley
albuckley@vcu.edu
804-828-6052
Virginia Commonwealth University
Source:Eurekalert

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