LANSING, Mich. (WILX) – More than 35,000 people in the United States need heart transplants.
Some patients with end-stage heart failure are eligible for a pump that moves blood into the left chamber of the heart, but there haven’t been many options for people with hearts failing on both sides.
A human heart beats 100,000 times a day, 35 million times a year, 2.5 billion times in an average lifetime.
Sometimes the heart doesn’t pump as well as it should. Scientists have developed a device called LVAD that helps the heart move blood to the left side, but in the past there has been little success with a total artificial heart.
“It would make sense that if we could build a rocket and send someone to the moon, then you would think we would be able to develop a pump that would be able to do similar things to the heart,” said Dr Mark Slaughter. , with the University of Louisville School of Medicine and UofL Health – Jewish Hospital.
A French medical company has designed a new type of bioprosthetic heart called the Eson.
“They’ve developed a total artificial heart that mimics the human pulse right and left,” Slaughter said.
Slaughter and his colleagues at the University of Louisville implanted the Aeson in two patients with end-stage heart failure — the second and third recipients in the United States. During the complicated procedure, surgeons remove patients’ failing ventricles, then — like a heart transplant — surgeons attach the pump. A lead line connects to a portable power source that keeps the device running.
“They immediately feel better, their blood pressure is better,” Slaughter said. “Their pulse has returned to normal. Their breathing is better because their lungs do not fill with fluid.
The Aeson is designed as a bridge to a transplant, giving patients more time until a donor heart is available.
Continued: Health Stories
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