Wired Online reports about the first self-contained artificial
heart at http://www.wired.com/news/medtech/0,1286,44980,00.html:
LOUISVILLE, Kentucky -- An American on the brink of death has received
the first self-contained, mechanical, total- heart replacement in a
landmark experimental operation, a source said Tuesday.
David M. Lederman, president and chief executive officer of Abiomed,
said earlier this year that the company had received Food and Drug
Administration approval to perform at least five human trials with
the artificial heart. If the experiments are successful, more patients
could be added to the trial later, he said.
The patients selected for the trial must be suffering from a chronic,
progressive heart disease expected to result in death within 30 days.
The goal of the experimental trials with the artificial heart, said
Lederman, is to "double the life span of these patients," to 60 days.
"Every patient will probably die on the AbioCor," he said. "We need
to understand that, with this new technology, we may have failures."
It's sobering that this technological advance only buys an expected 30
days of life. But it is good to see that the CEO is so frank about the
state of the art, in these days of hype and PR.
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