Last updated on April 23, 2014 at 21:24 EDT

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

August 24, 2011

TUCSON, Ariz., Aug. 24, 2011 /PRNewswire/ – SynCardia Systems, Inc. (www.syncardia.com), manufacturer of the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart, announced today that University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics has discharged the first Total Artificial Heart patient in the Midwest to wait for a matching donor heart at home using a portable power supply called the Freedom® driver. Richard Whittington, 59, received the Total Artificial Heart on July 6 and after 34 days was discharged from the hospital on Aug. 9.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110824/LA56788-a)

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110824/LA56788-b)

“We are very pleased with Mr. Whittington’s rapid progress,” said James Davis, M.D., the cardiothoracic surgeon who implanted the Total Artificial Heart. “This technology has clearly benefited him greatly, and we fully expect that we can help other patients who also need this type of highly advanced care and support.”

Since age 33, Mr. Whittington has had five heart attacks, one stroke, two pacemakers, 11 stents and open heart bypass surgery. Having lived in pain from his heart problems for the past 15 years, today he says he feels great other than a little soreness from the surgery. He says he is looking forward to sitting on his porch, watching the corn grow and eating fresh tomatoes from his garden.

“We will continue to work closely with his referring physicians to monitor his status, but indications thus far are telling us that he should do very well on this technology,” explained Jennifer Goerbig-Campbell, M.D., a cardiologist in the UI Heart and Vascular Center.

Mr. Whittington is participating in the FDA-approved Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) clinical study of the Freedom portable driver. Weighing 13.5 pounds, the Freedom driver is the first U.S. portable driver designed to power the Total Artificial Heart both inside and outside the hospital. As of today, there have been 25 people enrolled in the Freedom driver study. Of those 25, Mr. Whittington is the 13th to be discharged from the hospital.

“I’m going to go home, and they’re going to go out and get me a heart,” said Mr. Whittington. “After that, we’ll have a big party.”

Watch/read news coverage of Iowa’s 1st Total Artificial Heart patient going home

Read press release from University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics

CAUTION – The Freedom® portable driver is an investigational device, limited by United States law to investigational use.

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, the Total is currently approved as a bridge to transplant for people dying from end-stage biventricular heart failure. More than 950 implants account for more than 230 patient years of life.

Similar to a heart transplant, SynCardia’s Total Artificial Heart replaces both failing heart ventricles and the four heart valves. It is the only device that eliminates the symptoms and source of end-stage biventricular failure. The Total Artificial Heart provides immediate, safe blood flow of up to 9.5 liters per minute through both ventricles. This high volume of safe blood flow helps speed the recovery of vital organs, helping make the patient a better transplant candidate.

In March 2011, Fast Company magazine ranked SynCardia #20 among the World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies “for giving mobility to artificial heart recipients.” Also in March, the longest running health and wellness series on public television, “Healthy Body, Healthy Mind,” produced a 30-minute program featuring SynCardia’s Total Artificial Heart. View here

For additional information, please visit: http://www.syncardia.com

or follow SynCardia on Twitter – @SynCardia

SOURCE SynCardia Systems, Inc.

Source: PR Newswire