Director's Cut Debuts: CardioWest Artificial Heart Implant Surgery 4X Longer Than Original Video Available on National Geographic Website -- Hospital Featured in Video Has Implanted 15 Artificial Hearts in 2007

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SynCardia Systems, Inc., manufacturer of the CardioWest(TM) temporary Total Artificial Heart (TAH-t), has released a new time-lapse version of the CardioWest implant surgery shot for National Geographic Magazine. SynCardia's director's cut is almost four times longer than the original 35-second video, featured on National Geographic Magazine's website. The director's cut allows viewers to see more of how this life-saving surgery is performed. See director's cut

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We believe there are three times more hearts being implanted in Europe today because of the TAH-t portable driver

    The 2:02 video features the surgical team from the German Heart Institute Berlin and Prof. Roland Hetzer, M.D., implanting a CardioWest temporary artificial heart into 62-year-old Siegfried Streiter. Streiter was discharged on the portable driver to wait for a donor heart for transplant.

"We believe there are three times more hearts being implanted in Europe today because of the TAH-t portable driver," said Rodger Ford, SynCardia president and CEO. "Discharge virtually eliminates in-hospital recovery costs for stable TAH-t patients. It allows them to lead near normal lives with their family and friends while they wait for a donor heart. SynCardia is working with the FDA to address the need for a discharge driver in the U.S."

As of Nov. 7, Prof. Hetzer and the German Heart Institute Berlin have implanted 15 artificial hearts this year. With two months left in 2007, they have surpassed their previous totals for the last three years combined. The German Heart Institute leads all CardioWest certified centers in implants this year.

"Patients with predominant right heart failure and those with profound cardiogenic shock have a realistic chance to survive with a TAH-t, which is superior to any other method," said Prof. Hetzer. "The CardioWest TAH-t is the only device of this kind available today."

Since July 16, 2006, stable TAH-t patients in Europe have been able to recover at home thanks to the CE approved TAH-t portable driver. The driver powers the TAH-t with precisely calibrated pulses of air and monitors artificial heart performance.

The CardioWest TAH-t is the only FDA and CE approved temporary Total Artificial Heart in the world. Originally designed as a permanent replacement heart, it is currently approved as a bridge to transplant for patients dying from end stage biventricular failure.

The pivotal clinical study of the TAH-t published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM 2004; 351: 859-867) showed that 79 percent of patients receiving the TAH-t survived to transplant, the highest survival rate for any device in the world.

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