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Second patient fitted with French Carmat artificial heart dies

© AFP / Franck Fife (file photo) | An artifical heart developped by French biomedical firm Carmat

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2015-05-05

The second patient to have received an artificial heart made by French firm Carmat has died, nine months after being fitted with the device, the company announced Monday.

The 69-year-old passed away on Saturday afternoon, May 2, Carmat said in a press release, confirming reports by French newspaper Libération.

He had been hospitalised the day before with circulatory failure, said the company. An operation was carried out to fit a new prosthetic heart on Saturday, but he suffered terminal post-operative complications.

Carmat said it was analysing data from the artificial heart to establish the exact cause of death.

The patient, who had chosen to remain anonymous, was fitted with the artificial heart on August 5 last year in an operation in the city of Nantes in western France.

The first person to receive a Carmat heart, Claude Dany, died in March last year, 74 days after his operation.

Artificial hearts are not new. But the Carmat device differs in that it aims to give patients a longer-term alternative to existing technologies, while enabling patients to resume an almost normal day-to-day life.

The device is a self-contained unit implanted in the patient's chest. It uses soft "biomaterials" and an array of sensors to mimic the contractions of the heart, with the aim of reducing the risk of blood clots and rejection by the immune system.

The patient wears a belt of lithium batteries to power it.

Last week, Carmat announced a third patient had received an artificial heart in an operation carried out at a hospital in Paris on April 8.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)

Date created : 2015-05-04

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