Washington University surgeons at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis, began training at UMC in Tucson on Nov. 2 to become one of only nine hospitals in the U.S. certified to implant the CardioWest temporary Total Artificial Heart (TAH-t). Ranked No. 10 on the “U.S. News and World Report’s” Best Heart Hospitals of 2006, the Barnes-Jewish program has earned a reputation for taking on the most challenging cases, including patients who may have been turned down at other implant centers.
The heart transplant team, led by Dr. Nader Moazami, will be the first in the St. Louis area to be certified to implant the TAH-t, a modern version of the Jarvik-7 Artificial Heart.
The program is known as one of the leading centers in the country for post-transplant care and use of cardiac assist devices.
“We know that it (TAH-t) salvages a large number of patients who are really spiraling downward so rapidly that there’s no other device that can bring them back and this device (the TAH-t) does it,” said Dr. Jack Copeland, who has been a leader in artificial heart surgery since 1985.
The CardioWest TAH-t replaces the patient's dying heart. In most patients it is able to restore cardiac output. This facilitates recovery of vital organs, such as the liver and kidneys that have declined because of low blood flow. This improves the condition of patients who were near death from end stage biventricular heart failure. The TAH-t makes them better able to survive a heart transplant.”