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Second patient gets artificial heart

A second patient has received the AbioCor artificial heart
A second patient has received the AbioCor artificial heart  

By Rhonda Rowland
CNN Medical Unit

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (CNN) -- The second self-contained artificial heart was implanted in a 70-year-old man at Jewish Hospital Thursday.

The hospital identified him as Tom Christerson of Central City, Kentucky.

The operation was performed by the same surgical team that implanted the world's first artificial heart in Robert Tools July 2.

Drs. Laman Gray and Rob Dowling said the second patient was recovering in the intensive care unit and resting comfortably.

Robert Tools has continued to improve and was moved out of the intensive care unit last week.

The AbioCor artificial heart, manufactured by Abiomed Inc., fits inside the body and is battery-operated. The Food and Drug Administration gave the company approval to implant the device in five patients in initial studies.

Depending on how the first patients do, the study may expand to include a total of 15 patients.

Patients considered for the studies must have advanced heart failure and not be candidates for other treatments including heart transplantation. Like Tools, patients must have only a 20 percent chance of surviving a month without the device.

Doctors say Tools has exceeded expectations, already surviving more than two months with his artificial heart.

• The Implantable Artificial Heart Project
• Jewish Hospital
• Abiomed: Focus on the Heart

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