U.S patient gets first total artificial heart implant

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From Duke University

(WTRF) Surgeons at Duke University Hospital successfully transplanted a total artificial heart (TAH) into a 39-year-old man who experienced sudden heart failure.

This TAH mimics the human heart and provides the recipient more independence after the surgery, unlike conventional artificial hearts, the university said.

The artificial heart was developed by CARMAT and received FDA approval to begin studies in the U.S. to potentially enroll 10 patients with end-stage biventricular heart failure. The study will evaluate whether the artificial heart is a viable option as a life-saving step before transplant. 

The patient, Matthew Moore from Shallotte, N.C was referred to Duke in June after a sudden, unexpected diagnosis of heart failure. Moore and his wife, Rachel, recently adopted their two-year-old foster son, Marshall, and arrived at Duke expecting only to undergo heart bypass surgery.  However, his condition deteriorated rapidly, making him unfit for a heart transplant.

“We are encouraged that our patient is doing so well after the procedure Monday,” said Milano, a transplant surgeon and the principal investigator of the device study at Duke. “As we evaluate this device, we are both excited and hopeful that patients who otherwise have few to no options could have a lifeline.” 

As part of efforts to lead a near-normal life, the recipient will have to carry around almost a nine-pound (four kgs) bag that consists of a controller and two chargeable battery packs that work for approximately four hours, before requiring recharging. 

“As a nurse, I understand how important it is to bring these advancements forward,” Rachel Moore said. “Both Matthew and I are so grateful that we’ve been provided an opportunity to participate in something that has the potential to have an impact on so many lives. We are just taking it day-by-day and hope everything continues to progress well.” 

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