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Press Release:

What Ever Happened to the Jarvik 7 Artificial Heart?

University of Utah Symposium Marks 25th Anniversary
of Artificial Heart Implanted Into Barney Clark 

The modern 70cc CardioWest artificial heart (left) and the older 100cc Jarvik 7.The modern 70cc CardioWest artificial heart (left) and the older 100cc Jarvik 7.

TUCSON, Ariz. – Dec. 12, 2007 – On Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, more than 200 surgeons, biomedical engineers and heart device executives gathered at the University of Utah to celebrate the first implant of the Jarvik 7 artificial heart on Dec. 1, 1982, and present the current state of artificial heart pumping technology.

“The artificial heart is the result of six decades of work by many of the giants in medicine. Over the last 25 years we have made major improvements in the areas of surgical technique, anticoagulation (blood management) and patient care protocols,” said Steve Langford, vice president of clinical support for SynCardia Systems, Inc.

Today, the modern version of the Jarvik 7, the CardioWest™ temporary Total Artificial Heart (TAH-t), is the first and only temporary artificial heart to receive FDA, Health Canada and CE approval.

“When all other treatments fail, the CardioWest artificial heart is able to save the sickest of the sick,” explained cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Jack Copeland. “These patients are often days, if not hours from death. Their survival is dependent on receiving a donor heart, or a CardioWest artificial heart as a bridge to human heart transplant.””

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

In the 1990s, the Jarvik 7 technology was transferred to University Medical Center (UMC) in Tucson, Ariz., where it was renamed the CardioWest. Originally designed as a permanent replacement heart, UMC surgeon Dr. Copeland was the first surgeon to successfully use the artificial heart as a bridge-to-transplant in 1985.


About the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart
SynCardia Systems, Inc. (Tucson, AZ) is the privately-held manufacturer of the world's first and only FDA, Health Canada and CE approved Total Artificial Heart. Originally used as a permanent replacement heart, the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart is currently approved as a bridge to transplant for people suffering from end stage heart failure affecting both sides of the heart (biventricular failure). There have been nearly 1,300 implants of the Total Artificial Heart, accounting for more than 350 patient years of life on the device.

Similar to a heart transplant, the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart replaces both failing heart ventricles and the four heart valves. It is the only device that eliminates the symptoms and source of end stage biventricular failure. Unlike a donor heart, the Total Artificial Heart is immediately available at 97 SynCardia Certified Centers worldwide with 39 others in the process of certification.

The Total Artificial Heart provides immediate, safe blood flow of up to 9.5 liters per minute through each ventricle. This high volume of blood flow helps speed the recovery of vital organs, helping make the patient a better transplant candidate.

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Media Contact:
Don Isaacs
Vice President of Communications
SynCardia Systems, Inc.
Cell: (520) 955-0660



*The SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart was formerly known as the
SynCardia temporary CardioWest™ Total Artificial Heart.

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