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Press Release:

4 Top Transplant Hospitals Honored as “Best of the Best”
for Total Artificial Heart

Cleveland Clinic, German Heart Institute Berlin, VCU Medical Center
and Phoenix-Area Hospital Recognized as 100% Centers


Dr. Nicholas Smedira, Cleveland ClinicDr. Nicholas Smedira, Cleveland Clinic

TUCSON, Ariz. – June 11, 2009 – SynCardia Systems, Inc., manufacturer of the SynCardia temporary CardioWest™ Total Artificial Heart, has honored the following transplant centers for achieving 100% success rates for 5 or more consecutive patients implanted with the Total Artificial Heart. Patient success is defined as bridged-to-transplant or currently listed for transplant.

  • Phoenix-area hospital – 9 in a row

  • Cleveland Clinic – 7 in a row
    Dr. Nicholas Smedira – Director of the Cardiac Transplantation and Ventricular Assist Device Therapies Program

  • Dr. Vigneshwar Kasirajan, VCU Medical CenterDr. Vigneshwar Kasirajan, VCU Medical Center
  • Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center - 5 in a row
    Dr. Vigneshwar Kasirajan - Chair of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery

  • German Heart Institute Berlin (DHZB) – 5 in a row
    Prof. Roland Hetzer - Chairman, Professor of Surgery, Medical Director

"We have implanted 22 of the SynCardia Total Artificial Hearts and have had very good outcomes,” said Dr. Kasirajan. “We have had fewer complications with infection or embolic events with the Total Artificial Heart than with left ventricular assist devices.”

VCU Medical Center and the Phoenix-area hospital were honored as 100% Centers for the second consecutive year.

Prof. Roland Hetzer, German Heart Institute BerlinProf. Roland Hetzer, German Heart Institute Berlin

Since becoming a SynCardia Certified Center in August 2007, the Phoenix-area hospital has achieved a 92% overall success rate. Out of 12 patients, 11 are successes: 9 have been transplanted and 2 are currently waiting for a matching donor heart.

Since becoming a SynCardia Certified Center in April 2006, VCU Medical Center has achieved an 86% overall success rate. Out of 22 patients, 19 are successes: 15 have been transplanted and 4 are currently waiting for a matching donor heart.

“People who need the Total Artificial Heart are often days, if not hours from death,” said Rodger Ford, CEO and President of SynCardia. “SynCardia Certified Centers are saving the ’sickest of the sick’ by bridging them to life with the Total Artificial Heart.”


SynCardia Systems, Inc. in Tucson, Arizona is the privately-held owner and manufacturer of the world's first and only FDA, Health Canada and CE approved Total Artificial Heart for use as a bridge to transplant for people suffering from end-stage biventricular heart failure in which both ventricles can no longer pump enough blood for a person to survive.

More than 1,350 implants of the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart accounts for over 400 patient years of life on the device. Since January 2011 more than 400 SynCardia Hearts have been implanted.

The youngest patient to receive a SynCardia Heart was 9 years old; the oldest was 76 years old. The longest a patient has lived with a SynCardia Heart was nearly four years (1,374 days) before receiving a successful donor heart transplant Sept. 11, 2011.

SynCardia Systems also manufactures the Freedom® portable driver, which powers the SynCardia Heart while allowing clinically stable patients to leave the hospital to live at home and in their communities. The wearable Freedom driver has been used by more than 200 patients, accounting for over 120 years of support


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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