UCLA expects to implant next artificial heart

המידע מתוך medicontext.co.il

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The University of California Los Angeles Medical Center said on Wednesday that it will likely be the next institution to implant the AbioCor artificial heart.

If approved by the medical center's internal review board, the device could be implanted within a few weeks. It would be the second such implant of the self-contained device, made by Danvers, Massachusetts-based Abiomed Inc..

On Tuesday, the world's first recipient of the artificial heart spoke to reporters via a video link from his surgeons' office at Jewish Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky, 7 weeks after the groundbreaking surgery.

The recipient, Robert Tools, is a 59-year-old diabetic who before the surgery was said to have an 80% chance of dying within 30 days. Tools told a news conference that he felt great, but his recovery has not been easy. Last week, he contracted a lung infection and was placed back on a ventilator.

In a telephone interview on Wednesday, a UCLA spokeswoman said the next patient will be selected after its internal review board gives final approval for the procedure. All clinical trials and experimental procedures require such approval, she said. Dr. Hillel Laks will be the lead surgeon, she added.

Dr. Robert Dowling, one of the surgeons who implanted the device in Tools, said in an interview on Tuesday that Tools' progress "bodes well for the next patient."

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