The CardioWest™ TAH-t

The CardioWest™ TAH-t

“I think that we are just seeing the beginning. This device really can be used as a treatment in and of itself.” -Dr. Jerry Estep, Methodist Debakey Heart and Vascular Center

Becoming the New Standard of Care for End-Stage Biventricular Heart Failure

Peter Nguyen, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the VCU School of Social Work. He teaches courses on social work practice and social work and social justice. Nguyen is currently conducting research on Asian immigration issues in the greater Richmond area. Prior to coming to VCU in 2006, he was a social work practitioner in the area of child welfare and also Asian mental health.

Virginia Commonwealth University’s Pauley Heart Center has performed an implantation of the CardioWest temporary Total Artificial Heart, or TAH-t, a modern version of the Jarvik-7 Artificial Heart, the one that made headlines in the 1980s. One of only three hospitals in the nation certified to perform such a procedure, VCU’s center is reporting succcess with “the only total artificial heart approved by the FDA, Health Canada and Communité Europeenne.”

Syncardia Systems, Inc., a Tucson, Ariz. company responsible for this device, describes it:

141113 The CardioWest™ TAH t

The CardioWest™ TAH-t completely replaces the patient’s diseased heart and immediately restores normal blood pressure and cardiac output, facilitating recovery of end-organ function, such as the kidney and liver. As a result, patients become better candidates for transplantation…

The CardioWest™ TAH-t is a pneumatic, biventricular, implantable bridge-to-transplant system for full cardiac replacement, taking the place of the failing heart in patients at imminent risk of death. The device offers full circulatory support, the shortest blood path and exposure to artificial surfaces, and the highest level of cardiac output when compared with other artificial heart systems previously tested.

According to VCU’s press release, the system is capable of delivering as much as 9.5 liters/minute of cardiac output!

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