The first patient to receive an artificial heart intended as a permanent replacement for his own ailing organ died 75 days after the transplant operation, Paris' Georges Pompidou European Hospital said Monday.
The 76-year-old man, who was sick with chronic heart failure, died Sunday, but the hospital did not specify the cause of death, which "will only be known after a thorough analysis of numerous medical and technical data," it said.
The patient had received a completely artificial heart developed by scientists at the French firm Carmat, and the mechanism was made of special materials to prevent his body from rejecting it and avoid the need to accompany it with a pacemaker.
Despite the fact that the man ultimately died, the hospital stressed the importance of the lessons to be drawn from the experience, in particular regarding the "selection of the patient, the post-operative monitoring, the treatment and prevention of difficulties."
The hospital also paid tribute to the patient, who at all times was "aware of the challenge" he was facing and yet confronted it "with confidence, courage and willingness."
The transplant took place at the Pompidou Hospital on Dec. 18 and was received with great anticipation by the medical community and the media because it opened the door to the possibility of curing thousands of people with heart disease who do not have access to the organ of a donor. EFE