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The Nation

Second Patient in 2 Weeks Is Given Artificial Heart

January 24, 2003|From Associated Press

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Surgeons have implanted a self-contained artificial heart in another critically ill patient, barely two weeks after such operations resumed following a long hiatus.

The 10-hour operation was performed Wednesday, bringing to three the number of people living with AbioCor artificial hearts.

Jewish Hospital officials said in a statement that the patient, and another recipient who received the softball-size device at the hospital Jan. 7, were both in critical but stable condition. Neither was identified.

Before the two operations, it had been nine months since the last AbioCor had been implanted.

The other living patient is Tom Christerson, who received his heart in September 2001 in Louisville.

The plastic-and-titanium heart is powered by batteries. It has no wires or tubes sticking through the skin, a technological leap from earlier mechanical hearts that were attached to machinery outside the body.

The surgery has been performed nine times in the United States, five times at Jewish Hospital.

Some of the nine died during or shortly after surgery.

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