November 6, 2006 |
A device that helps severely damaged hearts pump may be able to do what was once thought impossible -- reverse heart failure in people who are weeks from death. The left ventricular assist device, or LVAD, can boost the heart's ability to function, allowing it to recover if used with the right drugs, British researchers have found. The team used the device and a combination of heart drugs in 15 patients who had severe heart failure.
October 20, 2006 |
Edwards Lifesciences Corp., a Irvine-based heart device maker, swung to a third-quarter profit as it recorded fewer special charges and a lower cost for goods sold. The company reported a profit of $27.8 million, or 45 cents a share, contrasted with a loss of $4.4 million, or 7 cents, a year earlier. Excluding one-time charges and stock option expenses, the company said net income rose to $32.5 million, or 53 cents a share, from $29 million, or 46 cents, a year earlier.
October 3, 2006 |
Boston Scientific Corp. said Monday that federal regulators had approved software upgrades that would enable defibrillators implanted in 150,000 patients to send computerized health data to doctors over the telephone network. The monitoring will eliminate quarterly office visits and allow doctors to remotely confirm that the heart devices' batteries are working, the Natick, Mass.-based company's Guidant unit said.
September 8, 2006 |
Boston Scientific Corp. found a slightly higher risk of blood clotting in patients implanted with its newer drug-coated stents, the company said. The Natick, Mass.-based company reviewed data involving 3,500 patients to compare clotting rates of its Taxus stent with those of older uncoated stents.
September 6, 2006 |
Federal regulators on Tuesday approved the first fully implantable artificial heart for use by dying heart failure patients who are not eligible for a transplant. The device, called AbioCor, was tested in 14 male patients. The 12 who survived the surgery lived an average of five months after receiving the mechanical heart.
July 22, 2006 |
A 67-year-old man has survived more than six years on an artificial heart pump, a sign that the devices might be an alternative to organ transplants. The ventricular assist device pumps blood through the bodies of people whose heart chambers no longer work well, doctors said Thursday in a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine. "Right now, we can implant the pump only in people who are about to die," said letter coauthor Dr. O.H.
July 3, 2006 |
ELIZABETH GOLDRING, a poet and artist, is nearly blind. Now, after years of hard work, she can view words and faces and wander through a virtual art gallery of her work. An instrument called a "seeing machine," under development at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she works, is making the point that just because a person is blind doesn't necessarily mean she can't see.
June 27, 2006 |
Boston Scientific Corp. on Monday recalled nearly 23,000 heart pacemakers and defibrillators that could fail because of an electrical flaw, and the company asked doctors to check 27,000 patients who had been implanted with potentially faulty devices. The announcement marked the second time Boston Scientific has warned about products of the former Guidant Corp. since the Natick, Mass.-based company bought Guidant in April for $27 billion. Shares of Boston Scientific fell $1.
June 8, 2006 |
Newly unsealed court documents show that Guidant Corp. drafted a letter warning doctors of a dangerous electrical malfunction in some of its devices designed to restore a normal heartbeat, but the letter was never sent.
June 5, 2006 |
Spinal cord stimulators are one of the few options for patients with extreme pain that no longer responds to drugs. Implanted near the base of the spinal cord, the devices deliver electrical impulses to specific nerves and block pain signals from reaching the brain. Now researchers have found that, for one little-understood condition, the benefits of the devices diminish over time -- and disappear after three years.