So preliminary trial results look good – it could be that the next phase will go forward too. The artificial heart of French pioneer Carmat shows several device failures but overcomes major side effects of former gadgets, such as thromboembolism or haemorrhage.
Heart failure is the world’s leading cause of death. In Europe alone, 15 million patients live with it, and the number is constantly growing. About 100 000 of them have end-stage heart failure, which means their only hope are heart transplants, but there are never enough. Specifically, only 4000 transplants are performed each year.
Carmat aims at providing a medical alternative for these patients that is no longer dependent from organ donation: A fully independent artificial heart. The first artificial heart was invented more than 70 years old. During the 70 years since, major setbacks include thromboembolism and haemorrhage. One way Carpentier’s group tackles these difficulties is by using bio-prosthetic materials.
So far, the artificial heart has been introduced to three patients. Its inventor,