Saturday, November 6, 2004

Man with artificial heart dies

The Associated Press

LOUISVILLE - A Kentucky man who lived 166 days with an implanted replacement heart died Thursday of multiple organ failure at Jewish Hospital, the heart manufacturer said Friday.

The patient, 73-year-old William Wiley of Glasgow, received the AbioCor artificial heart in a May 24 surgery at the Louisville hospital.

The pump worked well and had no malfunctions, according to AbioMed Inc., the Danvers, Mass.-based company that makes the device.

Wiley was the 14th recipient of the softball-sized pump made of plastic and titanium and powered by batteries.

The 13th AbioCor recipient died in September, also at Jewish Hospital, of an unspecified malfunction in the device, AbioMed said at the time.

That was the first death attributed to an unexpected malfunction.

The deaths of the other 13 patients in the more than 3-year-old trial have been attributed to natural causes related to illnesses before surgery.

Dr. Rob Dowling, who helped implant the AbioCor into Wiley's chest, said the patient "has made a significant contribution to advancing the care of patients with heart failure."

AbioMed has said it hopes to begin marketing the AbioCor on a limited basis next year.

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