Monday, May 21, 2007

First Beating Heart Transplant Performed In U.S.

A 47-year-old Pennsylvania man has become the first person in the United States to receive a heart transplant while the donated organ was still beating. Suffering with congestive heart failure and pulmonary hypertension, he underwent surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Sunday, April 8. The surgery was performed by Kenneth R. McCurry, M.D., assistant professor of surgery, division of cardiothoracic surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and director of cardiopulmonary transplantation at UPMC’s Heart, Lung and Esophageal Surgery Institute.

The patient, who is from Portage, Pa., is doing well and was discharged from the hospital on Monday, April 30. The donated heart, from a 46-year-old male, was maintained in a beating state on the investigational Organ Care System (OCS) for two hours and 45 minutes.

Manufactured by TransMedics Inc., of Andover, Mass, the OCS is undergoing studies at UPMC. Last month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved TransMedics Inc. to begin the pilot phase of a trial of the investigational device exemption at five centers in the United States. In addition to UPMC, other centers participating include Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, the University of Chicago Hospitals Cardiac Center, and the Cleveland Clinic Heart and Vascular Institute. Twenty patients will be enrolled in this phase of the trial.

For more information, contact Maureen McGaffin,
Assistant Director, at 412-647-3555.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Death Rates Decline For Heart Attack Victims

A recent study shows your odds of surviving a heart attack after reaching a medical facility have dramatically improved over the past 6 years. In the largest study of its kind, researchers have found the number of deaths of patients with a completely blocked artery fell from 8.4% to 4.5% from July 1, 1999 through December 31, 2006. Deaths from milder forms of myocardial infarction fell from 2.9% to 2.0% for the same period. Overall for every 1000 patients admitted to a hospital there were 39 fewer deaths.

The study covered 44,372 patients from 113 hospitals in 14 countries. Complete details can be found in The Journal of the American Medical Association.