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SynCardia Systems, Inc.

Press Release:

University of Kentucky Medical Center Transplants State's 1st SynCardia Total Artificial Heart Patient

21-Year-Old Zack Poe Receives Donor Heart after Five Months of Life with the Total Artificial Heart

 

Zack Poe (middle), the first patient in Kentucky to be bridged to transplant with the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart, poses with his father Tony and his mother Laurie outside University of Kentucky Medical Center.

TUCSON, Ariz. – Sept. 13, 2012 – SynCardia Systems, Inc., manufacturer of the world's first and only FDA, Health Canada and CE (Europe) approved Total Artificial Heart, announced today that University of Kentucky (UK) Medical Center has successfully transplanted its first patient to receive the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart. Zack Poe, 21, received his matching donor heart in July after five months of life with the Total Artificial Heart.

"When we first met Zack, we knew that he was the perfect candidate to receive the Total Artificial Heart as a bridge to transplant," said Dr. Charles Hoopes, director of the UK Transplant Center. "The Total Artificial Heart worked exactly as we had planned, and it allowed Zack to gain back his strength before receiving an appropriate donor heart."

L to R: Dr. Jay Zwischenberger, Dr. Roh Yanagida, Dr. Charles Hoopes, SynCardia Total Artificial Heart recipient Zack Poe, his parents Laurie and Tony Poe and Dr. Mark Plunkett outside University of Kentucky Medical Center.

Zack was first diagnosed with heart failure in January, when an echocardiogram revealed that his ejection fraction -- a measurement of how much blood the heart pumps out to the body during each beat -- was less than 10 percent. He was referred to UK Medical Center for advanced treatment options, and about a week and a half after his initial diagnosis, his liver began to fail.

In order to save Zack's life, UK Medical Center completed SynCardia's four-phase certification program in a record 25 days. Zach was implanted with the Total Artificial Heart on Feb. 10. Less than a month later, on March 5, he was discharged from the hospital to wait for a matching donor heart at home with his family using the Freedom® portable driver.

"The transplant team here at UK is second to none, and patients like Zack are living proof," said Dr. Jay Zwischenberger, surgeon-in-chief at UK HealthCare. "The fact that Zack and his family did not have to leave the state for treatment shows the great strides UK HealthCare has made in our ability to provide care for Kentuckians with even the most complex health issues."

Weighing 13.5 pounds, the Freedom portable driver is the world's first wearable power supply for the SynCardia 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. On April 24, SynCardia completed the minimum enrollment required by the clinical study.

View news coverage of Zack’s transplant
Read press releaseRead press release from UK Medical Center

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About SynCardia Systems, LLC
SynCardia Systems, LLC in Tucson, Ariz., is the privately-held manufacturer of the world's first and only FDA, Health Canada and CE approved Total Artificial Heart. For people suffering from end-stage heart failure affecting both sides of the heart (biventricular failure), the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart is used as a bridge to transplant, helping them survive until a matching donor heart becomes available. SynCardia also manufactures the Freedom® portable driver, which powers the temporary Total Artificial Heart and allows clinically stable patients to be discharged from the hospital to enjoy life at home while they wait for a heart transplant.

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SynCardia Contact:
Janelle Drumwright, jdrumwright@syncardia.com, (520) 547-7463

 

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