MINNEAPOLIS — The first woman recipient of an artificial heart was in critical but stable condition today after surgeons successfully completed the first implant of a smaller version of the Jarvik-7 heart.
Mary Lund, 40, of Kensington underwent another operation after the implant to explore "excessive loss of fluids from the chest cavity," said Dr. Fredarick Gobel, a cardiologist acting as spokesman for the medical team.
Lund, described by doctors as gravely ill from a viral infection of the heart, is a secretary at a nursing home, Gobel said. He said she and her husband, a machinist, have a 14-year-old son.
She was given the device--30% smaller than the plastic-and-metal pump used in men--until a human heart can be found, said Tom Horner, a spokesman for Abbott-Northwestern Hospital.
"Without immediate intervention, she had no opportunity for life," said administrator Venetia Kudrle, adding that Lund was suffering from acute viral myocarditis.
She would not have survived the night without the implant, Horner said. He said the woman, who had no history of heart disease, was admitted to Abbott-Northwestern late Tuesday and her condition had continued to deteriorate.
Lund went into surgery at 6:50 p.m. Wednesday and came out of the operating room at 12:45 a.m. today.
Horner said it is the first time surgeons have used the smaller version of the Jarvik-7, which can fit into the chests of patients weighing less than 150 pounds. Lund weighs 110 pounds and is about 5 feet, 4 inches tall.
The seven previous recipients of the Jarvik-7 heart have all been men.
Abbott-Northwestern received federal approval in September to implant 10 artificial hearts over four years in patients awaiting human heart transplants. The Food and Drug Administration approved this surgery on Wednesday.
Standard drug therapies failed to help the woman, Gobel said, adding, "What happened to her is very, very rare."
Dr. Lyle Joyce, head of the hospital's transplant team, assisted Dr. William C. DeVries in performing the first artificial heart implant, in Barney Clark at the University of Utah on Dec. 2, 1982. Clark lived 112 days.
The second recipient, on Nov. 25, 1984, was William J. Schroeder. Murray P. Haydon became the third Jarvik-7 recipient Feb. 17, 1985.
Leif Stenberg, 53, of Sweden was given a Jarvik-7 on April 7, 1985, and died Nov. 21. Jack C. Burcham became the world's fifth recipient on April 14; he died 10 days later.
Michael Drummond, 25, given the Jarvik-7 artificial heart on Aug. 29, received a human heart nine days later and was released from the hospital on Nov. 14.
Thomas J. Gaidosh, 47, received a Jarvik-7 heart on Oct. 24 and a human heart on Oct. 28.