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How the Artificial Heart Beat the Odds

It was called a "Dracula" of the medical device world in the late 1980s. But it has now made a comeback, The New York Times recounts.
 
Qmed Staff
 
The New York Times Retro Report recently covered the "change of heart" that has taken place over artificial hearts since the pioneering surgeries of the 1980s
 
After the public saw artificial heart recipient Bill Schroeder increasingly debilitated in a series of strokes over more than 600 days--until his final death--there was little enthusiasm for the Jarvik artificial heart. The New York Times in a headline even described it as a "Dracula of medical technology." 
 
But the Jarvik never really went away. Marketed today as the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart, the device has been used in roughly 1600 patients as a bridge to transplant. Doctors have learned how to control infections and blood clots, avoiding the debilitating conditions that the 1980s recipients suffered through. And the device is now portable.
 
Trials have started to once again use the artificial heart permanently in patients. 
 
Check out the full Retro Report:

Learn more about cutting-edge medical devices at MD&M East, June 14-15, 2016 in New York City.

Chris Newmarker is senior editor of Qmed and MPMN. Follow him on Twitter at @newmarker.

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