PARIS (Reuters) – A 75-year-old Frenchman was feeding himself and chatting to his family, more than a week after becoming the first person to be fitted with an artificial heart made by French biomedical company Carmat, one of his surgeons said.
“He is awake, feeding himself and talking with his family. We are thinking of getting him up on his feet soon, probably as early as this weekend,” Professor Daniel Duveau, who saw the patient on Thursday, told French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche (JDD).
A more detailed account of the patient’s health would be made public on Monday, the paper wrote.
Heart-assistance devices have been used for decades as a temporary solution for patients awaiting transplants, but the bioprosthetic product made by French biomedical company Carmat is designed to replace the real heart over the long run, mimicking nature using biological materials and sensors.
It aims to extend life for patients suffering from terminal heart failure who cannot hope for a heart transplant, often because they are too old and donors too scarce.
The artificial heart, which can beat for up to five years, has been successfully tested on animals but the December 18 implant in a Paris hospital was the first in a human patient.
Three more patients in France are due to be fitted with the device.