US mechanical heart patient has fluid drained

הסקירה באדיבות אתר מדיקונטקסט:Last Updated: 2001-07-12 11:52:04 EDT (Reuters Health)

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (Reuters) – Doctors drained fluid from a patient implanted with the first self-contained mechanical heart in a 30-minute procedure, but the device continues to work "flawlessly," the hospital said on Thursday.

A spokeswoman for Jewish Hospital said Monday's brief operation to drain fluid from around the device's battery pack could be viewed as minor, and that the patient, a man in his 50s whose identity has been kept secret, was making progress since the implantation was performed July 2.

On Tuesday, the patient was found to have an increased amount of fluid and blood draining from his chest tube. Doctors believed that this might have been caused by anticoagulant therapy and they felt that it did not warrant another operation.

The patient, who prior to the landmark implant had complications from diabetes and heart failure that made eating and walking nearly impossible, appeared to be making progress, though he was back on a ventilator to help him breathe and regain strength.

He spoke with his family, sat up in a chair, listened to his favorite music and began an exercise regimen. After Monday's draining procedure, he even watched a movie with family members before tiring.

"Late Tuesday evening the patient experienced fatigue and the decision was made to place him back on the ventilator. The device continues to function flawlessly," the hospital said.

The AbioCor titanium-and-plastic heart made by Danvers, Massachusetts-based Abiomed Inc. has been given initial federal approval for use on five critically ill patients deemed unsuitable for heart transplant.

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