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Artificial Heart Patient Suffers a Setback

August 14, 2001|From Times Wire Reports

The recipient of the first self-contained artificial heart has suffered a setback, requiring a ventilator once more to assist his breathing, one of his surgeons said.

The patient, who has not been identified, had a buildup of secretions in his lungs and was put back on the breathing machine because he remained too weak to expel mucus secretions on his own.

The man also had developed a pulmonary infection and was running a fever, said Dr. Laman Gray, one of the University of Louisville surgeons who implanted the AbioCor artificial heart in the patient.

The problems are not life-threatening, Gray said: "This . . . has nothing to do with the heart."

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