Thursday, June 9, 2016

Man lives for over a year without a heart in his body

Stan Larkin with his "heart" in a backpack.University of Michigan Health System
CNET NEWS | Michelle Starr

A patient in dire need of a heart transplant lived for 17 months with an external artificial heart he carried around in a backpack.

Getting an organ transplant isn't simple. There simply aren't enough organs available to accommodate everyone who needs one. In the US alone, there are over 121,000 people on the organ transplant waiting list, and an average of 22 people die every day due to lack of available transplant organs.

For heart patients, an amazing new technology has just been proven able to keep patients alive until that crucial organ becomes available. Stan Larkin, now 25, has just received a heart transplant after living for 17 months on an external total artificial heart.

Larkin and his older brother had been diagnosed when they were teens with familial cardiomyopathy, a condition that slowly causes heart failure. In December 2014, Larkin's failing heart was removed, and he became the first patient in Michigan to be fitted with the SynCardia Freedom Portable Driver, a 13.5-pound machine that uses compressed air to take over the heart's job of pumping blood through the body. Continue reading
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