Allison Perry

UK First in Kentucky to Implant SynCardia Total Artificial Heart

Published: Mar 5, 2012

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 5, 2012) — The University of Kentucky today announced the state's first implantation of the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart as a bridge to transplant. UK is one of 29 medical centers in the country certified to perform this procedure.

 

On Friday, Feb. 10, 20-year-old Zack Poe of Maysville, Ky., became the state's first patient to receive the Total Artificial Heart. Poe, diagnosed with heart failure on Jan. 3 at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Edgewood, Ky., was referred to UK for consideration of advanced treatment options by Dr. D.P. Suresh.

 

The Total Artificial Heart (TAH) is a device that contains the same components as a real human heart. For patients who are dying of end-stage biventricular failure, the only options are an immediate donor human heart or a TAH as a bridge to transplant. The TAH helps keep patients healthy while waiting on a viable donor heart to become available — which could take weeks, months, or even years.

 

UK surgeons Dr. Charles Hoopes, director of the UK Heart and Lung Transplant Program and the Mechanical Cardiac Support Program, and Dr. Mark Plunkett, chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery and the co-director of the Linda and Jack Gill Heart Institute, have both received certification from SynCardia to perform this procedure. To become eligible to perform the procedure, medical centers are required to undergo a stringent four-part certification process.

 

"UK HealthCare’s ability to save and improve the lives of the most critically ill patients from Kentucky and beyond by performing procedures such as transplants, VADs (ventricular assisted devices) and now the Total Artificial Heart with the Freedom Driver, makes us truly one of the most comprehensive, multidisciplinary medical facilities in the country,” said Dr. Michael Karpf, UK executive vice president of health affairs.

 

At the time of his diagnosis, Poe's ejection fraction — a measurement that shows the amount of blood the heart can pump out into the body during each beat — was less than 10 percent, according to Dr. Navin Rajagopalan, the Medical Director of Heart Transplantation and Heart Failure Services at UK. Ejection fraction in a healthy individual is generally 55-75 percent.

 

"Apart from his heart failure, Zack is a strong, healthy young man," Hoopes said. "But because of the severity of the heart failure, we felt he was the perfect candidate to receive the Total Artificial Heart while he waits on an appropriate donor heart."

 

Hoopes and Plunkett led the surgical team during the procedure. Within days of the surgery, Poe was able to get up and move around his room.

 

"The surgery took about four hours and was extremely successful. We are delighted with the way Zack has responded to the Total Artificial Heart," Plunkett said. "His blood flow has dramatically improved, and he was up walking around within several days of the surgery. He's made a remarkable recovery and he's feeling better than he has in months."

 

Poe's mobility improved greatly last week when he received the SynCardia Freedom Driver, a wearable, portable device that powers the Total Artificial Heart. The Freedom Driver weighs just 13.5 pounds and is carried in a small backpack or shoulder bag.

 

With the Freedom Driver — currently available only as part of a clinical trial in the U.S. — patients can return home and resume many of their daily functions while waiting on a new heart.

 

"The mobility that the Freedom Driver allows is a great benefit to patients who receive the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart," said Dr. Jay Zwischenberger, chair of the UK Department of Surgery. "Zack will be able to go home and enjoy his life, rather than waiting months in a hospital room for a donor heart."

 

A second UK patient underwent successful Total Artificial Heart implantation last Wednesday. The patient is currently recovering in the hospital and doing well.

 

Media Contact:  Allison Perry, (859) 323-2399 and allison.perry@uky.edu

 

3.jpg10_fixed.jpg7_fixed.jpg
September
 
1
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Labor Day - Academic Holiday
Mon
2
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Internship Info Session
Student/Faculty/Staff Mixer
Tue
3
Employee Educational Assistance Award
LNFS Presents: The Wolf of Wall Street
Last Day to Add a Class
Last Day to Drop a Course with 80% Refund
UK Volunteer Fair
Wed
4
LNFS Presents: Children of Men
LNFS Presents: How To Train Your Dragon 2
Black and Latino Male Initiative
Advance Your Swagger: A Night with Fonzworth Bentely
Thu
5
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Northern Iowa
Kentucky Volleyball vs. USC
LNFS Presents: Spirited Away
LNFS Presents: Mulan
Fri
6
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Kentucky Football vs. Ohio
#maxfest (Ukirklex Campus Ministry)
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Creighton
Lets Swing Dance!
Sat
7
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Morehead State
Sun
8
Diversity Organization's Council
Kosher/Soul? (Jewish, African American & Appalachian culture Fuse)
Mon
9
Working Moms Connection
Job Club - Job Search Strategies for Fall
Rock Star Professionalism Series
Tue
10
Massage on the Go
College: Do the Right Thing- A conversation with Dr. Smith
The Future of Islam
LNFS Presents: Fight Club
Wed
11
9/11 Vigil
UKNABJ presents: Ferguson, Missouri: A look at media, politics and black youth in the U.S.
LNFS Presents: Mr & Mrs Smith
Duo Damiana, Molly Barth and Dieter Hennings
LNFS Presents: 22 Jump Street
Thu
12
LNFS Presents: Searching For Sugarman
LNFS Presents: Sin City
Fri
13
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Men's Soccer vs. ETSU
Sat
14
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Pepperdine
Sun
15
Kentucky Week Farmer's MarCat and Craft Fair
Majestic U.N.I.T.Y.
Mon
16
Justice Delayed not Justice Denied: A Talk with Dough Jones
PRHBTN Gallery Reception and Concert
Men's Soccer vs. Xavier
Chellgren Seminar Series: Buck Ryan
Tue
17
Internship Info Session
Last Day to Drop a Course Without Appearing on Transcript
Caregiver Support Group
LNFS Presents: The Immigrant
Big Blue Commonwealth
Wed
18
LNFS Presents: Watermark
LNFS Presents: X-Men: Days of Future Past
Ryan Gardner Guest Trumpet Recital
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Lipscomb
Thu
19
LNFS Presents: A Band Called Death
LNFS Presents: Prisoners
The Case for Fossil Fuels-PEIK Seminar
Men's Soccer vs. Furman
Fri
20
Rock Climbing @ Red River Gorge
College of Pharmacy Open House
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Xavier
Sat
21
 
Sun
22
Diana Ferrus: 'Writing poetry has allowed me to live': Cultural Resistance in South Africa
Kentucky Law Schools Forum
Mon
23
Pinterest Party
University of Kentucky Chamber Winds
Employer Showcase
Job Club - 10 Questions to Ask Prior to Starting a Business
Men's Soccer vs. Lousville
Tue
24
Employer Showcase
Last Day to Drop a Course with 50% Refund
UK Elder Care Lunch & Learn
BPH Open House
Documentary Film Screening - Heaven + Earth + Joe Davis
LNFS Presents: Saving Mr. Banks
Wed
25
LNFS Presents: Culture Jam
LNFS Presents: Maleficent
¡Baila!
Thu
26
LNFS Presents: Ponyo
LNFS Presents: The Little Mermaid
Opening Night Bohemiam Festival
White Water Rafting @ Chattooga River
Women's Soccer vs. Mississippi State
Fri
27
White Water Rafting @ Chattooga River
Kentucky Football vs. Vanderbilt
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Green Apple Day of Service: "Pick It Up"
Swing Dancing!
Sat
28
White Water Rafting @ Chattooga River
UK Chorale
Dirty Dancing Trip
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Auburn
Sun
29
 
Mon
30
#TrendingTopics: Immigration Reform
Apollo Duo - Flute and Percussion Guest Recital
Tue
 
 
 
 
Reset Page