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Thursday, May 23, 2024

The most modern artificial heart in the world was implanted in Poland. “The patient can exercise”

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The most modern heart in the world. Artificial, with a battery that weighs only four kilograms. Mr. Maciej will carry a small bag on his shoulder. Other patients, such as Mr. Maciej, pushed a 100-kilogram wheelchair in front of them years ago. In the world of medicine, this is a real revolution.

Mr. Maciej, 37, has been living for a month with an artificial heart implanted in his chest, to the left of the midline of the body. The batteries in the bag he carries maintain the operation of the artificial heart and transmit energy to it through the controller. Mr. Maciej has already become accustomed to the sound of the beating artificial heart.

This is an extraordinary device, the most modern in the world. Two rotors – powered by external current, rotate back and forth. There is a gel around them that drives two biological membranes where blood flows in and out. In addition, the machine self-regulates, i.e. responds to what the patient does.

– The sensors that the device (editor's note) has inside allow the patient to exercise and ride a bike. He may not run yet, because this driver is quite large, but he can perform physical activity normally – says Professor Mariusz Kuśmierczyk, head of the Cardiac Surgery Clinic at the University Clinical Center of the Medical University of Warsaw, who implanted the device.

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The device is revolutionary, although it is not the first artificial heart to be implanted

This is the first device in Poland called “Carmat”, but not the first artificial heart at all. Six years ago, doctors in Anin and Zabrze implanted artificial hearts in patients, but these were American devices, less technically advanced, larger and heavier. The French one is an era ahead of those. This is admitted by Professor Michał Zembala, who implanted one of them in Zabrze many years ago.

– More and more centers are joining this elite group of implanters of this type of device. I am glad that it was possible in Poland and I congratulate the Warsaw center on its success – comments Professor Michał Zembala from the Department of Cardiac Surgery and Transplantology of the Provincial Specialist Hospital in Lublin.

SEE ALSO: The progress in Polish health care that has been made over the last 20 years is “unprecedented”

– When I got to the hospital, I couldn't go up to the first floor. I was very tired – recalls Mr. Maciej, the owner of the newest artificial heart. Mr. Maciej is now feeling well enough to go for walks outside the hospital. He will be discharged home in a few days.

– This whole transition procedure, preparing the patient to go home, these are long conversations, of course there is stress on both sides, but we also do it so that the patient does not have to wait three, four, five months in the hospital for the transplant. – says Jakub Kościołek, coordinator of mechanical heart support from the Medical University of Warsaw.

Ultimately, Mr. Maciej will receive a natural heart from a deceased donor. First, however, doctors must cure his pulmonary hypertension.

Main photo source: TVN24



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