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Texas Heart Institute Implants 4 SynCardia Total Artificial Hearts in 12 Days

3 of 4 Patients Have Been Discharged Home Using Freedom® Portable Driver as Part of FDA Clinical Study

(PresseBox) (Tucson AZ USA, ) Medical E-Mail News(TM) / Oct 06 2011 -- SynCardia Systems, Inc. (, manufacturer of the world's only FDA, Health Canada and CE approved Total Artificial Heart, announced today that Texas Heart Institute (THI) at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital (SLEH) in Houston performed four implants of the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart over a 12-day period beginning July 22.

"For patients who are out of options, these devices are absolutely critical. And in most cases, the patients see marked improvement in their quality of life and how well they feel," said Dr. Igor Gregoric, director of THI's Center for Cardiac Support and associate director of Cardiovascular Surgery and Transplant Research. "It is an extremely valuable tool."

In an email to SynCardia, Jennifer Kliesing, whose husband Jeremiah was the second patient to receive the Total Artificial Heart at THI, wrote:

"I can't thank SynCardia and all its staff enough. I know every wife says she loves her husband, but Jeremiah and I have always had something extra. I was terrified, several times, that I would go through the rest of my life without him, and SynCardia let him live... he's thrilled to be here. He is making plans to do several things as he's able... you should see the zest he has for life."

Three of the four Total Artificial Heart patients have been discharged from the hospital to wait for a matching donor heart at home using the Freedom® portable driver, the first wearable power supply for SynCardia's Total Artificial Heart. The Freedom driver is CE approved for use in Europe and undergoing an FDA-approved Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) clinical study in the U.S.

The three patients who have been discharged include:

- Shawn Galloway, a 38-year-old mother who returned home just in time to go shopping for school clothes with her children
- Ken Woychesin, who had a heart attack at 26, a heart transplant at 34 and five years later, found himself in need of another transplant
- A 22-year-old man who had previously received a heart transplant at the age of 2 at THI

"We've come a long way since that first implant," said THI's founder Dr. Denton Cooley, who performed the world's first artificial heart implant in 1968. "I am proud that THI continues to lead the way in such technology to help patients."

CAUTION - The Freedom® portable driver is an investigational device, limited by United States law to investigational use.

SynCardia Systems Inc

SynCardia Systems, Inc. (Tucson, AZ) is the privately-held manufacturer of the world's first and only FDA, Health Canada and CE approved Total Artificial Heart. Similar to a heart transplant, the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart replaces both failing heart ventricles and the four heart valves, eliminating the symptoms and source of end-stage biventricular failure. Unlike a donor heart, the Total Artificial Heart is immediately available at SynCardia Certified Centers and does not require expensive anti-rejection medication, which can cause subsequent complications.

Originally used as a permanent replacement heart, SynCardia's Total Artificial Heart is currently approved as a bridge to transplant for people dying from end-stage biventricular heart failure. There have been more than 950 implants of the Total Artificial Heart, accounting for more than 230 patient years of life. It is the only device that provides immediate, safe blood flow of up to 9.5 liters per minute through both ventricles.

SynCardia Ranked #20 Among World's 50 Most Innovative Companies:

In March 2011, Fast Company magazine ranked SynCardia #20 in its annual list of the world's 50 Most Innovative Companies for "giving mobility to artificial heart recipients." Weighing 13.5 lbs, SynCardia's Freedom® portable driver is the world's first wearable driver designed to power the Total Artificial Heart both inside and outside the hospital. The Freedom driver is CE approved for use in Europe and undergoing an FDA-approved Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) clinical study in the U.S.

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