Heart Pumps May Be Transplant Alternative
A 67-year-old man has survived more than six years on an artificial heart pump, a sign that the devices might be an alternative to organ transplants.
The ventricular assist device pumps blood through the bodies of people whose heart chambers no longer work well, doctors said Thursday in a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine.
“Right now, we can implant the pump only in people who are about to die,” said letter coauthor Dr. O.H. Frazier of the Texas Heart Institute, who suggested that the device could be used much earlier to minimize further heart deterioration.