Out-of-hospital Temporary Total artificial Heart
will give patients in Europe greater freedom to recover at home
Out-of-hospital Temporary Total artificial Heart. The CardioWest temporary Total Artificial Heart (TAH-t) is a bridge-to-transplantation for patients with end-stage biventricular heart failure who are waiting for a donor human heart. Pneumatic drivers providing air pulses make the device pump blood similar to a human heart. Recently, the German company Berlin Heart AG received the CE mark to market a modified version of its Excor mobile driving unit in combination with the TAH-t in Europe. The new Excor TAH-t portable driver is about the size of an attach? case and is designed for use following TAH-t implant surgery, by stable patients. The portable driver allows stable patients to recover at home, which speeds recovery, improves quality of life and significantly lowers costs. In addition, the portable driver enables patients to leave home to shop, and for some, to travel. Prior to the development of the portable driver, patients in the OR and stable patients waiting for a donor heart were connected to a very large driver, known as "Big Blue" for its light blue exterior finish and its washing machine-sized dimensions. This required patients to remain in the hospital until a donor heart was found. In Europe, the Big Blue is being replaced, outside te OR, by the portable driver.The CE mark, which will allow the TAH-t with the new Excor driver to be marketed in Europe, is anticipated in Q2 of this year.