Physicians at the Center of Cardiac Surgery Erlangen-Nuremberg at Friedrich Alexander Hospital have initiated a new training and certification program for implanting the CardioWest temporary Total Artificial Heart (TAH-t). Led by Prof. Michael Weyand, M.D., cardiac surgeon, Dr. Tandler, and members of the heart transplant team at the center, the training is a four-part certification process that includes the proctored implant of the center's first CardioWest TAH-t today, Dec. 14, 2006.
Whereas some hospitals wait months to find an appropriate patient for the first proctored implant of the TAH-t, at Friedrich Alexander Hospital that patient is already there. This patient is unlikely to survive more than a couple of weeks without a TAH-t implant or a human heart transplant.
Speaking from Monday's training, Dr. Tandler said, "We already have an excellent candidate for the artificial heart.
“We are excited to now have a device we can use to help him survive to transplant," said Dr. Tandler. The surgery will be performed by Dr. Tandler and proctored by cardiovascular surgeon Latif Arusoglu, M.D., who has performed over 100 TAH-t implants at the Heart and Diabetes Center NRW in Bad Oeynhausen, Germany.
The CardioWest(TM) TAH-t is used as a "bridge to transplant" for transplant eligible patients who: 1) have both sides of their heart failing, 2) do not respond to other treatments, and 3) are at imminent risk of death.