France's 2nd artificial heart recipient 'doing well'

France's 2nd artificial heart recipient 'doing well'

Tuesday, October 28, 2014 9:21 pm

Professor Alain Carpentier: with a dummy artificial heart

Professor Alain Carpentier: with a dummy artificial heart

A man who in August became the second person in France to receive a new-generation artificial heart “is doing very well,” the inventor of the pioneer device said Tuesday.

The transplant, which took place on August 5 at Nantes University Hospital in western France, is part of a key trial for the much talked-about Carmat artificial heart.

“After 12 days in post-operative care, the patient has recovered progressively in a very satisfactory manner,” said Professor Alain Carpentier, who is cofounder of a company which hopes to market the heart.

“He goes to the toilet by himself, washes himself and moves around in his flat, where he often works out on an exercise bike,” said Carpentier, quoting from a letter by Professor Daniel Duveau, who performed the surgery in Nantes.

“He is doing very well,” Carpentier told BFM news television.

The patient, a man in his sixties whose name is being withheld, said in a separate letter, “I don’t regret the operation because I’ve been able to recover some activity,” Carpentier added.

The artificial heart, implanted in the patient’s chest, uses soft “biomaterials” intended to lessen the risk of blood clots and rejection by the immune system. It is powered by a belt of lithium batteries.

The first recipient, 76-year-old Claude Dany, who had been gravely ill with a heart condition, died in March, 10 weeks after receiving the experimental device.

Nearly 100,000 people in Europe and the United States are in need of a heart transplant, according to Carmat, which plans to carry out feasibility trials on four terminal patients.

These preliminary tests will be considered a success if each one survives for at least a month, Carmat says.

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