Kentucky surgeons who implanted the world's first self-contained artificial heart in a 59-year-old man more than 2 months ago announced on Thursday that they have installed a second such device in a 70-year-old man. The latest patient, who was not identified, was recovering in intensive care at Jewish Hospital in Louisville, the hospital said in a statement.
The self-contained mechanical heart, made by Abiomed Inc. of Danvers, Massachusetts, is the first major advance in the development of an artificial replacement heart in nearly two decades. The surgeons have said previously that patients considered for the implant were critically ill with fewer than 30 days to live. The first patient, 59-year-old diabetic Robert Tools, was given the AbioCor plastic and titanium heart device on July 2.
Tools has exceeded initial estimates that the heart would extend his life by about a month and was transferred out of the hospital's intensive care unit earlier this month.
The manufacturer of the heart has been given initial regulatory approval for testing of the device on five critically ill patients.