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Totally implanted artificial heart

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by Blackcat99 Blackcat99 (Member)

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If someone has a totally implanted artificial heart do they leave any of the former person's heart still in the patient? Or does it mean that in fact that even every single little part of the heart has been removed? Thanks

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highlandlass1592 has 13 years experience as a RN and specializes in Critical care.

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My facility has implanted 4 Total Artificial Hearts (by Syncardia-I put the name in so you could google it). The atria of the heart are left in place and the ventricles are removed. What's strange is this pt, due to the artificial heart doesn't need to be on telemetry. Just something you don't really expect to see in the ICU, you know?

The pt currently must remain in-pt until they can be transplanted (and in the ICU). However, Syncardia is supposed to be developing a portable console that in the future may allow the pt to go to step-down units then possibly even home till transplant. That is quite a bit in the future, at least at this time. The current console for managing the TAH is quite large, can make something simple like ambulating a pt a bit of a complicated process ( you need caregivers to assist the pt then 1-2 to move the console). The technology is pretty awesome but I don't know as a pt if I'd want to commit to it...the puncture sites for the driveline are pretty large and again, you don't get to go home till tranplanted which as we all know can take quite a while to happen.

Hope that helps.

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ghillbert has 20 years experience as a MSN, NP and specializes in CTICU.

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Short answer - depends on what device you have. There's not really any such animal as "totally implanted artificial heart". There's a "total artificial heart" which is implanted or you can have bivads as total heart that are percutaneous and not implanted.

The portable (Freedom) driver for the Syncardia total heart is approved in the EU and already in IDE trials at at least 4 centers in the US, so it shouldn't be too far away.

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24,737 Visitors; 2,819 Posts

Thanks so much to both of you for the information. It is very interesting.

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Zombi RN has 6 years experience and specializes in thoracic ICU, ortho/neuro, med/surg.

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My facility has implanted 4 Total Artificial Hearts (by Syncardia-I put the name in so you could google it).

The pt currently must remain in-pt until they can be transplanted (and in the ICU). However, Syncardia is supposed to be developing a portable console that in the future may allow the pt to go to step-down units then possibly even home till transplant. That is quite a bit in the future, at least at this time.

The technology is pretty awesome but I don't know as a pt if I'd want to commit to it...the puncture sites for the driveline are pretty large and again, you don't get to go home till tranplanted which as we all know can take quite a while to happen.

My facility just got certified to implant the Syncardia -- our first and second Syncardia patients have now gone home with the portable backpack console. They will live at home while awaiting a transplant. As far as I know it is less common for the Syncardia patients to go home with the portable console, but it is certainly a possiblity! Our patients are doing quite well. So, the Syncardia portable console is now available for use.

We just implanted our third.

eta: I believe Syncardia is the only total artificial heart in existance at this point in time. I may be wrong, but that is what I seem to remember. Just so you know!

Edited by Zombi RN

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1,705 Visitors; 41 Posts

Abiocor (from the makers of Abiomed!)

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Zombi RN has 6 years experience and specializes in thoracic ICU, ortho/neuro, med/surg.

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^ thanks!

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Biffbradford specializes in ICU.

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To be totally honest, those things just freak me out. :D Not to the point where I can't function, but it just put me at another level of heightened awareness, you know? It's thumping along at 135 bpm all the time, you can't do CPR if the worst of worst happens, and when Xray comes through in the morning - "Don't run over any cords!!" I took care of one gent for almost a year who had one, so I was quite comfortable working with and around it, but still. No thanks. He didn't make it BTW, he infarcted his bowel. :(

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469 Visitors; 3 Posts

Hi, just joined allnurses.com We also implant the Syncardia artificial heart. We also do implant or use extracorporeal devices--ECMO being the the extreme. I am curious as to what center uses the portable Syncardia console--sure would like to have that option. We have 3rd or 4th patient with the Syncardia now and the console is massive

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Biffbradford specializes in ICU.

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Here's some info from the company: http://www.syncardia.com/2010-Press-Release/freedom-driver-system-receives-ce-mark-to-power-syncardias-total-artificial-heart-in-europe.html

If there are "Freedom Drivers" in the US, they are rare and certainly "investigational".

bigblueandfreedom_med.jpg

Personally, I don't see how that little thing can replace that big box on wheels! (and can't they use a laptop that at least looks more current than 1990? :confused: )

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