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'Heartless' Virginia Supervisor Raises a Ruckus

NACO County News

Jack Miller is one heartless politician. No, the Middlesex County, Va. supervisor isn't lacking in compassion or the milk of human kindness — quite the opposite, say those who know him.

He has no heart. It was removed Sept. 15 and replaced by an artificial one. His "total artificial heart" runs on air via two tubes through his abdomen that connect to an external battery-powered device... read more

Heart or Not, Middlesex Politician Keeps on Ticking

Richmond Times-Dispatch

Jack Miller doesn't mind acknowledging that he ran a heartless campaign this fall to win re-election to the Middlesex County Board of Supervisors. He couldn't help it — not having his heart and all.

"I may be the only politician in history that has been participating without a heart — without a legitimate heart, I mean," Miller said with a laugh in a phone interview Friday from his home in Locust Hill.

By "legitimate," Miller means his own heart. Miller, 62, was diagnosed 11 years ago with degenerative heart disease. Over the years, his heart grew weaker and weaker. Doctors did what they could, but the thing finally reached the point of giving out, and something drastic needed to be done. So, on Sept. 15, surgeons at VCU Medical Center in Richmond removed Miller's heart — but not his sense of humor — and replaced it with a mechanical device that will keep him alive until a donor heart becomes available for a transplant... read more

Mesa Woman Wants a Heart for Christmas

CBS Phoenix

Most girls Mia Welch's age would be asking for new clothes for Christmas, or maybe an iPad.

"Just waiting. Could be a good Christmas present," Welch said. Her wish list is short, and something no 21-year-old should need. "A new heart. I never thought I'd be asking for that, ever. But things change," Welch said. Change might be her word of the year.

Let us explain. First, if you spend time in Welch's hospital room, you'll hear a constant thump thump noise. She relies on that thumping sound to know she's still kicking. It comes out of a little box that contains her temporary heart... read more

She's Glad to be Looking Ahead to the Future

Houston Chronicle

Shawn Galloway's list of things to be grateful for this holiday season may need a table of contents. She has successfully progressed through two life-saving surgeries within the last five months. Last July, the Cypress Fairbanks-area resident was one of four patients to receive an artificial heart at the Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital. It was that procedure that kept her alive to receive a donor heart two months later... read more

A New Heart: After Living for Eight Months with a Mechanical Heart,
Margaret Daugherty is Back on Human Power

Richmond Times-Dispatch

Margaret Daugherty's room is quiet. The constant churning noise from the portable machine that powered her artificial heart, the machine to which she was tethered for 223 days, is gone. The artificial heart is gone, too, replaced by the heart of an unknown woman, a donor about whom Daugherty knows little, except that she was a perfect match.

Daugherty also senses that she was someone who liked Labradors and spending time at the ocean. "The only thing I woke up wanting was a Corona and a lime, and a Labrador dog, and to be on the beach," she says with a smile, sitting up in an easy chair beside her bed at the VCU Pauley Heart Center. "Those were my impressions after I came to. A chocolate Lab and a yellow Lab were in my dream.

The fact that Daugherty woke up at all, that she's telling this story, is something of a miracle... read more

NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia Surgeons Are First in NYC Area
to Implant Total Artificial Heart

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center

Surgeons at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center performed the first Total Artificial Heart implant in the New York City area to replace a patient's dying heart.

"For patients who will die without a heart transplant, the Total Artificial Heart helps them survive until they can get one. By replacing the heart, we are eliminating the symptoms and the source of heart failure," said lead surgeon Dr. Yoshifumi Naka, director of Cardiac Transplantation and Mechanical Circulatory Support Programs at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia and associate professor of surgery at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons... read more

SynCardia Systems Makes Forbes Promising Companies List

Phoenix Business Journal

SynCardia Systems Inc., a Tucson-based manufacturer of artificial hearts, has landed on Forbes' list of the 100 most promising private companies in America. The medical device company checked in at No. 77 on the list, and was the the only Arizona company that made the cut. Forbes describes the companies on the list as, "up-and-comers with compelling business models, strong management teams, notable customers, strategic partners and precious investment capital"... read more

Exercise blood pressure response during assisted circulatory support:
Comparison of the total artificial heart with a left ventricular assist device during rehabilitation

The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation

Total heart replacement is an effective bridge to transplant for patients with biventricular heart failure and is an alternative to implantation of biventricular assist devices.1 The total artificial heart (TAH) is a mechanical circulatory support device that orthotopically replaces a recipient's native ventricles and all 4 cardiac valves. In contrast to a left ventricular assist device (LVAD), the native heart is entirely removed and has no impact on device function or total cardiac output.

The clinician programs the TAH pump rate ("heart rate") and ejection pressures ("contractility"), which are fixed and do not dynamically change during pump operation. The pump is calibrated in the resting state to only partially fill so that the ejection volume ("stroke volume") may increase to accommodate a rise in pre-load.

In apparently healthy individuals, systolic blood pressure rises with exercise (?10 mm Hg/metabolic equivalent).2, 3 Although stroke volume in patients with a TAH can increase during exercise, heart rate and contractility do not change. Hence, these patients could have a blunted or even hypotensive response to exercise due to arterial vasodilation in working skeletal muscle with a significantly muted increase in cardiac output.4 These concerns are particularly relevant with the development of a portable driver that permits hospital discharge with the device.

To our knowledge, there are no studies reporting on the blood pressure response to exercise or the feasibility of rehabilitation for patients who have a TAH. We hypothesized that patients with total heart replacement have a blunted response to exercise compared to those with LVADs... read more

SynCardia Named AZ Bioscience Company of the Year | Phoenix Suns

SynCardia Systems, Inc., founded in 2001 to commercialize groundbreaking research done at the Sarver Heart Center at the University of Arizona, was named "Arizona Bioscience Company of the Year" by the Arizona BioIndustry Association. The high honor comes for "doing the most to transform the world during the last 12 months" for the company that manufactures the world's only FDA, Health Canada and CE approved Total Artificial Heart.

"The Arizona Bioscience Company of the Year Award recognizes the for-profit bioscience company whose Arizona-based operations did the most to transform the world during the last 12 months," said Joan Koerber-Walker, Arizona BioIndustry Association chief executive officer. "SynCardia makes it possible for patients awaiting donor hearts to not only survive the wait but also to do so with flexibility and mobility, a feat of biomedical engineering that is world-changing for these patients."

Pioneering doctors at the Sarver Heart Center spearheaded the development of the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart, which became the world's first and only total artificial heart to win FDA approval as a bridge to human heart transplant in patients near death from heart failure. Suns Managing Partner Robert Sarver personally funded the initial stages of the project ... read more

Meet the Surgeon Who Fitted the UK's First Artificial Heart

Cambridge News

Matthew Green was dying. Desperate for a heart transplant, the 40-year-old had been on Papworth's waiting list for a donor heart for many months; with no suitable match on the horizon, his time was running out.

But luck was on Matthew's side and, thanks to a revolutionary new piece of equipment, earlier this summer he was fitted with the UK's first completely artificial heart by top cardiothoracic surgeon Mr Steven Tsui.

Not surprisingly, the pair hit the headlines when Matthew was well enough to face the press last month. But what few people knew was that, had it not been for a chance glimpse of a TV programme more than 30 years ago, Steven might never have become a surgeon... read more

Cy-Fair Woman Receives Artificial Heart

Ultimate Cy-Fair

Cy-Fair resident Shawn Galloway recently received a SynCardia Total Artificial Heart. Galloway, 38, was one of four patients with biventricular end-stage heart failure to receive the artificial heart from doctors at the Texas Heart Institute (THI) at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital.

Similar to a heart transplant, SynCardia's Total Artificial Heart replaces both failing heart ventricles and the four heart valves. In most cases, SynCardia's heart restores blood flow, pumping up to 9.5 liters per minute, and eliminates complications associated with the patients failing heart. This helps vital organs to recover faster and allows patients to be better transplanting candidates when a donor heart does become available... read more

Artificial Hearts Giving Hope, Saving Lives

ABC 13 - Houston

What happens when you are dying of heart disease, and you won't live long enough for a transplant? One Houston hospital has a new go-to plan: the artificial heart. In the past month, it's saved the lives of four dying people and some of them may soon go home with only a manmade pump beating in their bodies... read more

1st Pediatric Total Artificial Heart Patient
Discharged Home Using Freedom® Portable Driver

Texas Children's Hospital

The Freedom® portable driver is CE approved for use in Europe and undergoing an FDA-approved Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) clinical study in the U.S. CAUTION – The Freedom driver is an investigational device, limited by United States law to investigational use.

Fox – Houston – Backpack Offers Artificial Heart Recipient Freedom
CW – Houston – Have A Heart
NBC – Houston – Total Artificial Heart Transplant Patient Goes Home

Press Release – Texas Children's Hospital discharges First Pediatric Total Artificial Heart Patient to Wait for Donor Heart at Home
YouTube Video – The Jordan Merecka Story: Parts 1 & 2

Houston Business Journal – Texas Children's Heart Transplant Teenager Heads Home
The Cypress Times
River Oaks Examiner
West University Examiner
Bellaire Examiner

Yahoo! News – Teenage Artificial Heart Patient Makes History, Gains Freedom
Houston Press Blogs – Jordan Merecka: Teen's Artificial Heart Is Powered Through His Backpack

NewsRadio 1420

This story also aired on these TV news stations:

•ABC – Houston, TX •CBS – Houston, TX
•CBS – Monroe, LA •CBS – Abilene, TX
•CBS – Dallas, TX •CBS – Joplin, MO
•CBS – Paducah, KY •CBS – Odessa, TX
•Fox – Corpus Christi, TX •Fox – Austin, TX
•Fox – Colorado Springs, CO •Fox – Victoria, TX
•Fox – Chicago, IL •Fox – Harrisburg, PA

University of Iowa Discharges 1st Total Artificial Heart Patient
in the Midwest

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics

The Freedom® portable driver is CE approved for use in Europe and undergoing an FDA-approved Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) clinical study in the U.S. CAUTION – The Freedom driver is an investigational device, limited by United States law to investigational use.

NBC - Cedar Rapids - UI artificial heart recipient first in Midwest to be discharged
CBS - Davenport - Quad Cities man leaves the hospital without a heart
FOX - Cedar Rapids - First Midwest Total Artificial Heart transplant patient goes home from UIHC
NBC - Davenport - Local man receives artificial heart
ABC - Cedar Rapids
ABC - Des Moines
CBS - Cedar Rapids
CBS - Des Moines

Press Release - Artificial heart recipient heads home

Quad City Times - Man who received artificial heart OK
The Gazette - Doctors at UIHC transplant Iowa's first artificial heart
Iowa City Press Citizen
Des Moines Register

Radio Iowa - U-I artificial heart patient goes home

ASSOCIATED PRESS - UIHC patient with artificial heart discharged
The following outlets published the story from the Associated Press: 

•ABC 5 Des Moines •Fox 12 Mankato
•WQAD 8 •Washington Examiner
•Missouri News Tribune •The San Francisco Examiner
•The Daily Journal •The Republic (Indiana)
•Quad Cities Online


UK's 1st Total Artificial Heart Patient Discharged Home
Using Freedom® Portable Driver

Papworth Hospital

News stories about the UK's first Total Artificial Heart patient appeared on more than 220 media outlets worldwide. Below is a selection of this news coverage.

The Freedom® portable driver is CE approved for use in Europe and undergoing an FDA-approved Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) clinical study in the U.S.

ITN News - UK first portable artificial heart patient
Channel 4 UK – Father receives full artificial heart in UK first
BBC - Plastic heart gives dad Matthew Green new lease of life
Sky News
Channel 5 UK
9 News MSN Australia

United States
CBS - Spokane - KREM 2 News at 5
Fox - Detroit - FOX 2 News
CBS - Ft. Myers - WINK News at 11

Press Release - UK's First Total Artificial Heart Patient To Go Home

The Guardian - Man, 40, becomes first Briton allowed home with artificial heart
London Evening Standard - Man with the plastic heart: dying Londoner saved by breakthrough
New York Daily News - Britain's first artificial heart transplant patient heads home, thanks to new battery-powered ticker

News articles also appeared in:

The Telegraph Associated Free Press
The Daily Mail News & Crier
Shropshire Star The Calgary Herald
Cambridge First The Daily Express
The Independent The Press and Journal
The Sun Huffington Post
Metro The Evening Star
The Mirror Southport Visiter
Periscope Post The Scotsman
Irish Examiner Bridlington Free Press
Andover Advertiser         Medical News Today
The Australian The Money Times
Pak Tribune Scottish Sunday Express
Kazinform International Business Times
Daily India The Australian Herald
Perth Now WebMD Health News
The Engineer Belfast Telegraph
Top News - U.S. Small World News Service
Vancouver Sun The Irish Independent
Irish Times The West Australian
Ealing Gazette Urethanes Technology International
Modern Ghana The Nation - Pakistan
Wikinews Plastics & Rubber Weekly
MediLexicon Scottish Daily Record
















LBC 97.3
BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 5
Absolute Radio
Magic 105.4
Heart 106.2

University of Iowa Implants State's 1st SynCardia Total Artificial Heart

University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics

The Freedom® portable driver is CE approved for use in Europe and undergoing an FDA-approved Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) clinical study in the U.S. Through the IDE clinical study, stable Total Artificial Heart patients who meet study criteria may have the option to be discharged from the hospital with the Freedom portable driver, to wait for their matching donor heart at home and in their communities.
CAUTION – The Freedom driver is an investigational device, limited by United States law to investigational use.

WHBF-TV (CBS)  Quad Cities
Velcro and plastic are keeping an eastern Iowa man alive. Last week doctors from the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics performed the artificial heart transplant so the patient will be able to go home with a portable pump. The procedure is the first in the state. During a traditional transplant, patients would have to stay in the hospital while waiting for a human heart. But Dr. James Davis said that's all changed... watch video/read story

Press Release - UIHC Physicians Implant State's First Total Artificial Heart
Video interview with Drs. Davis and Dr. Goerbig-Campbell about the Total Artificial Heart

Iowa City Press Citizen - UIHC implants first artificial heart in patient
Eastern Iowa Health - Artificial heart transplanted in patient at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
The Daily Iowan - UIHC completes first artificial heart implant
Des Moines Register

Radio Iowa – U-I completes state's first artificial heart transplant
KCIM 1380 AM

This story also aired on these TV news stations:

•ABC – Cedar Rapids, IA •ABC – Des Moines, IA
•CBS – Cedar Rapids, IA •CBS – Davenport, IA
•CBS – Des Moines, IA •CBS – Iowa City, IA
•CBS – Joplin, MO •CBS – Rochester, MN
•CBS – San Diego •NBC – Davenport, IA
•NBC – Washington DC

Texas Children's Hospital Saves 17-Year-Old
with SynCardia's Total Artificial Heart

Texas Children's Hospital

The Freedom® portable driver is CE approved for use in Europe and undergoing an FDA-approved Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) clinical study in the U.S. Through the IDE clinical study, stable Total Artificial Heart patients who meet study criteria may have the option to be discharged from the hospital with the Freedom portable driver, to wait for their matching donor heart at home and in their communities.
CAUTION – The Freedom driver is an investigational device, limited by United States law to investigational use.

WABC-TV (ABC)  New York
Taking a human heart out and replacing it with an artificial heart is rare. Only 800 adults have had a total artificial heart, and it's even rarer for children.But Texas Children's Hospital has performed its first total artificial heart surgery on a Houston teenager. Three weeks later, he is doing well and getting used to his mechanical heart... watch video/read story

KPRC-TV (NBC) Houston
A 17-year-old Houston patient became the first to ever receive a total artificial heart at a children's hospital. Jordan Merecka had his heart removed less than a month ago, replaced by an artificial heart at Texas Children's Hospital. Doctors said they placed a device that will take over the functions of Jordan's heart until a transplant becomes available... watch video/read story

KTRK-TV (ABC) Houston
When you talk to Jordan Merecka, the first thing you notice is the pumping sound. "It never really bothered me. In fact it's almost comforting because you hear it and you know it's still pumping," he said. It's his artificial heart beating. He needed a heart transplant, but one wasn't available. So Texas Children's surgeons removed his old heart and replaced it with pumps attached to a 400-pound console... watch video/read story

Press Release -
Texas Children's Hospital is First Pediatric Hospital in the Nation to Implant Artificial Heart
YouTube Video - Jordan's Journey

KTRH Houston – 740 AM – New Heart Means New Lease On Life
88.7 KUHF-FM Houston – Rare Artificial Heart for Adolescent Keeping Him Alive

Houston Chronicle - Teenager recovering after local surgeons install artificial heart

Jordan's story also aired on these TV news stations:

•ABC – Austin, TX •ABC – Champaign, IL
•ABC – Evansville, IN •ABC – Fargo, ND
•ABC – Greenwood, MS •ABC – Philadelphia
•ABC – Waco, TX •CBS – Bakersfield, CA
•CBS – Houston, TX •FOX – Austin, TX
•FOX – Beaumont, TX •FOX – Chicago
•FOX – Clarksburg, WV •FOX – Detroit
•FOX – Erie, PA •FOX – Ft. Smith, AR
•FOX – Grand Rapids, MI •FOX – Green Bay, WI
•FOX – Houston, TX •FOX – Monroe, LA
•FOX – Rapid City, SD •FOX – Rockford, IL
•FOX – Springfield, MO •FOX – Tulsa, OK

Life Savers:
Mechanical Heart Devices are Giving Patients a Chance to Thrive

Richmond Magazine

On the morning of Dec. 15, Brian Younglove was irate. His wife, Margaret Daugherty, lay gravely ill at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and it seemed that no one could do anything to help her. The transplanted heart Daugherty had received 18 years earlier was barely functioning. For 12 days, since she'd been taken by ambulance to Vanderbilt, in Nashville, Tenn., from their home hospital in Lexington, Ky., they had held on to the hope that she could undergo another transplant. But that Wednesday, at about 8:15 a.m., the formerly upbeat cardiologist walked in looking downcast.

"He had a stream of tears coming out of his eyes," Younglove says. "He said, 'There's nothing we can do.' " Daugherty's liver, kidneys and lungs were failing, the doctor told them. It was too late for a transplant. The only thing left to do was to send her back to Lexington and make her comfortable until she passed away. But Younglove wasn't ready to give up yet. He and Daugherty knew that in Virginia, VCU Medical Center was successfully implanting artificial heart devices in patients who were too sick to wait for a transplant. The couple was willing to give it a try. Daugherty, 44, says she had made peace with dying. Still, "I didn't want to be on my deathbed regretting not trying something."... read more

Living with an Artificial Heart -
An Interview and Slideshow with Margaret Daugherty

Richmond Magazine

Before undergoing artificial-heart surgery on Dec. 20, Margaret Daugherty "was in profound heart failure," says her surgeon, Dr. Vigneshwar Kasirajan. She was bedridden and could barely speak. Now she's back in action and ready for her next adventure. In the future, Daugherty hopes people will look at her experience and say, "OK, well she did it. If she can do this, I can do this."... watch slideshow with interview

VAD Program Offers Trial of New Total Artificial Heart Driver

Physician News (Brigham and Women's Hospital)

The Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) Program within the Carl J. and Ruth Shapiro Cardiovascular Center at Brigham and Women's Hospital is the first and only program in New England to participate in a new study of a portable driver (SynCardia Freedom® Driver) that enables total artificial heart (TAH) patients to return home while awaiting heart transplantation. Program specialists are currently recruiting patients for this trial and will soon perform the first TAH implantation in the region.

The FDA-approved Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) clinical study is evaluating a 13.5-pound portable driver that allows patients who meet stability criteria to begin a phased discharge from the hospital following successful TAH implantation. Previously, patients who underwent TAH implantation have remained connected to a 418-pound driver ("Big Blue") in the hospital until a suitable donor heart became available... read more

Implantable Mechanical Circulatory Support: Demystifying Patients
With Ventricular Assist Devices and Artificial Hearts

Clinical Cardiology

Authors: Keyur B. Shah MD, Daniel G. Tang MD, Richard H. Cooke MD, Suzanne Harton RN, MS, Maureen Flattery RN, MS, NP, Gundars J. Katlaps MD, Vigneshwar Kasirajan MD, Michael L. Hess MD (Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center)

Engineering advancements have expanded the role for mechanical circulatory support devices in the patient with heart failure. More patients with mechanical circulatory support are being discharged from the implanting institution and will be seen by clinicians outside the immediate surgical or heart-failure team. This review provides a practical understanding of device design and physiology, general troubleshooting, and limitations and complications for implantable left ventricular assist devices (pulsatile-flow and continuous-flow pumps) and the total artificial heart... read more

2011 Medical Breakthroughs: A Heart You Can Recharge

Reader's Digest

Used in several European countries as well as Australia, the United States and Canada, the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart is not a new device, but its manufacturer has recently given it a new twist.

Normally, patients who receive temporary artificial hearts are confined to the hospital for months -- and sometimes even years -- tethered to a 190-kilogram machine while they await a transplant. But last year, in a U.S. first, Arizona-based SynCardia Systems Inc. began a clinical study to test a portable option for powering the artificial heart. Called the "Freedom" driver, this six-kilogram toaster-size device is designed to allow patients to enjoy a relatively normal life at home while they wait for their transplants... read more (may take a few minutes to load)

The World's 50 Most Innovative Companies

Fast Company Magazine

For giving mobility to artificial heart recipients.
SynCardia makes the Total Artificial Heart, the only complete heart-replacement device approved by the FDA. Last year, it began a clinical study for its Freedom portable driver, a 13.5-pound external power source that, for the first time, lets survivors of advanced heart disease return home with the implanted mechanism. They're no longer tethered to a 418-pound power supply at the hospital. One patient, an Oklahoma pastor, has returned to the pulpit... SynCardia Profile | Top 50

Mayo's Heart Pioneer Gets the Real Thing

Phoenix Health News Examiner

Charles Okeke made headlines here and around the country last May when he became the first US heart patient to leave a hospital--in this case, the Mayo Clinic--with an artificial heart. The Mayo Clinic announced Friday that Okeke now has a new heart and kidney and is once again home with his family in Phoenix... read more

Oklahoma Heart Patient Carries Pulse of Life on His Back

The Oklahoman

The bump-bump-bump of the machine that powers Troy Golden's heart is the sound of a second chance. Golden became the region's first bionic heart man when doctors removed his heart in September and replaced it with a total artificial heart. As he waits for a heart at home in Geary, he said the whooshing sounds and the feel of the heart were a little surprising at first. Now, they are a comfort... read more

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

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