Wednesday, November 15, 2006

External Heart installed by Calgary team

My daughter Christine lives in Calgary and sent me this article, which is of special interest to me because my roommate post lung-transplant received the first mechanical pump installed in a patient's heart at Toronto General Hospital.

by Michelle Lang, Calgary Herald; with files from The Canadian Press
Published: Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Calgary surgeons have successfully installed a mechanical pump in a patient's heart for the first time in this city, implanting the device in a Red Deer man who is waiting for a heart transplant.

Dwight McFarland, 45, is recovering at Foothills Hospital following the Nov. 1 operation when he received the pump -- called a ventricular assist device -- as part of a new surgical program for victims of heart failure.

"I am very happy it works and happy they have the knowledge and kindness to help someone like me," said McFarland, in an interview with the Herald on Tuesday.

The Calgary operation comes as the first Canadian to receive a mechanical heart died in Ontario last weekend at age 61.

Noella Leclair made medical history in this country 20 years ago when Ottawa doctors gave her a Jarvik-7 artificial heart after she suffered a heart attack.

A week later, Leclair received a human heart from a donor.

Artificial hearts have come a long way since that first surgery. They are more reliable and cause fewer complications such as blood clots. There is also a wider variety of devices on the market offering more options for patients depending on their age, size and the full Calgary Herald Article

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