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SynCardia Systems, Inc.

Press Release:

Belgian Hospital 50th Transplant Center to Begin Certification Training to Implant SynCardia’s Total Artificial Heart

OLV Hospital Aalst Will Be 1st Center in Belgium to Become Certified to Implant the World’s Only Approved Total Artificial Heart

Ivo Deblier, MD Ivo Deblier, MD TUCSON, Ariz. – Feb. 23, 2010 – On Feb. 25 & 26, the surgical team from Onze Lieve Vrouw (OLV) Hospital Aalst, led by surgeons Ivo Deblier, MD, and Karl Dossche, PhD, and accompanied by anesthesiologist Koen De Decker, MD, will become the first hospital in Belgium and the 50th hospital in the world to complete the first phase of certification training to implant the SynCardia temporary CardioWest™ Total Artificial Heart. 

“The Total Artificial Heart has no equal in the world of mechanical circulatory support,” said Mary Pat Sloan, Vice President of Global Training and Customer Support for SynCardia Systems, Inc. “It is the only device that replaces both failing heart ventricles and pumps up to 9.5 L/min through both sides of the heart to help the patient recover faster.”

OLV Hospital performs approximately 1,300 heart operations, 700 vascular operations and 180 lung operations annually. The hospital performed its first heart transplant in 1988. It implanted its first defibrillator in 1990 and its first mechanical circulatory support device as a bridge to transplant in 1995.

Fifty of the world’s finest transplant hospitals, surgeons and medical teams have become, or are training to be, SynCardia Certified Centers. These hospitals represent 12 different countries from around the world: the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Austria, Sweden, Switzerland, Lithuania, Turkey, Australia and Belgium.

To become a SynCardia Certified Center, hospitals must apply for and complete a rigorous, four-phase training program, including the first proctored implant by an experienced Total Artificial Heart surgeon. 

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About SynCardia Systems, LLC
SynCardia Systems, LLC in Tucson, Ariz., is the privately-held manufacturer of the world's first and only FDA, Health Canada and CE approved Total Artificial Heart. For people suffering from end-stage heart failure affecting both sides of the heart (biventricular failure), the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart is used as a bridge to transplant, helping them survive until a matching donor heart becomes available. SynCardia also manufactures the Freedom® portable driver, which powers the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart and allows clinically stable patients to be discharged from the hospital to enjoy life at home while they wait for a heart transplant.

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SynCardia Contact:
Janelle Drumwright, jdrumwright@syncardia.com, (520) 547-7463

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