1st Australian Total Artificial Heart Patient Bridged to Transplant

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St. Vincent’s Hospital Achieves Rapid Patient Recovery with SynCardia’s Total Artificial Heart

SynCardia CEO Rodger Ford (right) poses with Australia's second patient to be implanted with the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart. This patient received a matching donor heart on Dec. 23, 20

On Dec. 23, 2010, St. Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney, Australia, successfully bridged its first patient to transplant with the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart after 127 days of support. This patient was only the second person in the Southern Hemisphere to receive the Total Artificial Heart.

“The Total Artificial Heart can save some of the sickest patients because it is the only device that eliminates the symptoms and source of end-stage biventricular failure,” said SynCardia President Michael Garippa. “During the certification process, we emphasize the importance of implanting the Total Artificial Heart early enough to avoid vital organ tissue death.”

St. Vincent’s Hospital achieved rapid patient recovery with its first two patients implanted with the Total Artificial Heart. The hospital made headlines in August when it performed the Southern Hemisphere’s first implant of the Total Artificial Heart. Prior to the surgery, doctors gave the patient less than two weeks to live.

  •     1 day after surgery: The patient was breathing on his own (extubated) and out of bed.
  •     1 week after surgery: The patient was walking throughout the ICU.
  •     11 days after surgery: The patient was transferred out of the ICU.
  •     15 days after surgery: The patient’s condition had stabilized and he was switched from his implant driver to the Freedom® portable driver to power his Total Artificial Heart.
  •     Sept. 13, 2010: The patient was discharged from the hospital using the Freedom driver. At home, he is enjoying cooking, gardening and walking along the beach while he waits for a matching donor heart for transplant.

A few weeks later, St. Vincent’s performed its second implant of the Total Artificial Heart. Prior to implant, the patient was at imminent risk of death from heart failure after suffering several heart attacks.

  •     1 day after surgery: The patient was extubated and out of bed.
  •     5 days after surgery: The patient walked four laps around the ICU.
  •     6 days after surgery: The patient was transferred out of the ICU.
  •     12 days after surgery: The patient’s condition had stabilized and he was switched to the Freedom portable driver.
  •     Oct. 14, 2010: The patient was discharged from the hospital.
  •     Dec. 23, 2010: The patient received a matching donor heart and has since been discharged from the hospital.

St. Vincent’s is the largest transplant hospital in Australia and is SynCardia’s Certification Center for the Asia-Pacific Region. The Total Artificial Heart and the Freedom portable driver are available at St. Vincent's under the status of a Clinical Trial Notification and approval of the hospital's Ethics Committee. The Freedom driver is CE approved for use in Europe and undergoing an FDA-approved Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) clinical study in the U.S.

SynCardia Systems, Inc. is the Tucson-based manufacturer of the world’s only FDA, Health Canada and CE approved Total Artificial Heart: the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart. There have been more than 900 implants of the Total Artificial Heart, accounting for more than 210 patient years of life on the device.

Originally used as a permanent replacement heart, the Total Artificial Heart is currently approved as a bridge-to-transplant for patients dying from end-stage, biventricular failure. The Total Artificial Heart is the only device that provides immediate, safe blood flow of up to 9.5 L/min through both ventricles.

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Don Isaacs
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