Allegheny General Hospital Implants Region's 1st SynCardia Total Artificial Heart

Thu Mar 1, 2012 7:50am EST

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

  TUCSON, AZ, Mar 01 (MARKET WIRE) -- 
SynCardia Systems, Inc. (www.syncardia.com), manufacturer of the world's
first and only FDA, Health Canada and CE (Europe) approved Total
Artificial Heart, announced today that Allegheny General Hospital (AGH)
performed its first implant of the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial
Heart on Feb. 17.

    "We are extremely proud to be the first cardiovascular team in Pittsburgh
to offer this revolutionary technology to patients with advanced heart
failure. AGH has a distinguished history of pioneering achievements in
the treatment of complex cardiovascular diseases and the SynCardia Total
Artificial Heart is another significant milestone in that legacy," said
George J. Magovern, MD, Chair, Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular
Surgery at AGH and the West Penn Allegheny Health System (WPAHS). 

    The patient, 62, was first admitted to a local hospital suffering from an
acute heart attack. Doctors attempted cardiopulmonary resuscitation for
nearly an hour before placing him on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation
(ECMO), which takes over the function of the heart and the lungs. He was
then transferred to Allegheny General Hospital, where cardiologists
observed him for 24 hours. Initially, doctors had hoped to wean him off
ECMO, or implant a left ventricular assist device (LVAD), which supports
only the left side of the heart. However, they ultimately identified him
as a candidate for the Total Artificial Heart.

    "There is a small segment of people who really don't do well with an LVAD
alone, and we have learned we needed something better," said
cardiothoracic surgeon Stephen Bailey, MD, who performed the implant of
the Total Artificial Heart. 

    "The side that's not supported can often fail in about 20 percent of
patients," said cardiologist Raymond Benza, MD. "These are people we were
never able to help before. This opens up a brand new door for these
people."

    Doctors said they believe up to 10 patients a year at AGH could benefit
from receiving the Total Artificial Heart.

    "The Total Artificial Heart leads to recovery of end organ function in
the most critically ill patients, allowing transplantation to be
performed when the patient is more stable -- which ultimately helps
facilitate better outcomes following transplantation," said Dr. Bailey.

    Under the direction of Drs. Benza and Bailey, the heart transplantation
program at AGH has achieved a success rate that exceeds the national
average and boasts the highest one-year survival rate of any
transplantation program in Pennsylvania over the past two years,
according to the national Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients.
This year the hospital also was one of just three heart transplant
programs in the country noted for better than expected patient outcomes. 

    View news coverage of Allegheny's 1st implant
 Read press release from
Allegheny General Hospital
 Watch video of press conference

    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... read
more

www.syncardia.com
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Don Isaacs
disaacs@syncardia.com
520-955-0660 

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