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About Temporary Artificial Heart

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently approved a partial artificial heart intended to keep people alive in the hospital while they are awaiting a heart transplant.

The product is a pulsating bi-ventricular device that is implanted into the chest to replace the patientís left and right ventricles (the bottom half of the heart). The implanted device is sewn to the patientís remaining atria (the top half of the heart). Hospitalised patients are connected by tubes from the heart through their chest wall to a large power-generating console, which operates and monitors the device. 

The heart is manufactured by Syncardia Systems Inc., of Tucson, Ariz. 

About 4,000 patients in the United States await heart transplants annually. Only about 2,200 donor hearts typically become available. About 100 of the 4,000 patients awaiting transplants have non-reversible bi-ventricular failure and could be candidates for the new artificial heart.

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