Friday, 11 October 2019

IKEM becomes world centre for artificial heart transplant

ČTK |
24 July 2018

Prague, July 23 (CTK) - Prague's Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine (IKEM) has become the world centre for doctors to learn artificial heart transplant operations, IKEM said in a press release on Monday.

A Czech patient with a biocompatible heart, which fully replaces human heart, has been surviving for eight months since the surgery performed on him in IKEM.

Ten patients have received this type of artificial heart in the world so far, and further ten are to receive it in the forthcoming second phase of the clinical study.

The second phase's main supervisor is Ivan Netuka, head physician of IKEM's Clinic of Cardiovascular Surgery.

"Since we are halfway through the whole study, having achieved evident results, we can afford to speed up and standardise some processes and also gradually extend the indication criteria," Netuka said.

In France, the first Carmat artificial heart was implanted in a patient in 2013. Further surgeries followed in Astana, Kazakhstan, and in IKEM, followed by a hospital in Copenhagen.

The first French patient survived for 75 days and another one, from August 2014, for nine months.

The Czech patient, who has had an artificial heart since last November, is a man who was 68 at the time of the surgery. Doctors replaced his failing heart with a mechanical one, which runs on batteries and is shaped as human heart but three times heavier.

The surgery lasted eight hours. Apart from the ban on bathing and the need to permanently wear a bag with the batteries, the man faces no restrictions in his life.

The surgery was a part of the clinical study within which the artificial heart has been tested. The IKEM is therefore bound to confidentiality and cannot say, for example, how many such surgeries it has performed since.

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