"Every patient will die" on artificial heart

From: hal@finney.org
Date: Tue Jul 03 2001 - 15:15:17 MDT

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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