France

French artificial heart maker plans second implant after death of first recipient

Artificial heart patented by Pr Alain Carpentier in 2013.
Artificial heart patented by Pr Alain Carpentier in 2013. Société Carmat

French artificial heartmaker Carmat plans to try a second implant "probably in a few weeks' time" after the death of the first recipient of its new design of artificial heart.

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The second experiment would depend on finding a suitable patient, the biomedical company's co-founder Philippe Pouletty told Europe 1 radio.

The first recipient, a French 76-year-old man with a terminal heart disease, died on 2 March, two and a half months after receiving an artificial heart.

"Currently we don't know the patient's cause of death," said Pouletty, refuting a theory put forward by Alain Carpentier, the father of the artificial heart, that a short circuit caused the device to stop working.

"The prosthesis is a complex tool, linked to the vascular system and the power supply, any excessive simplification is wrong," said Pouletty.

Artificial hearts have been used for many years as a temporary fix for patients with chronic heart problems but Carmat's device provides a longer-term solution and enables patients to return home and lead normal lives.  

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