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News Release Date : 01/18/2006

New Technology Helps Broken Hearts Heal


Monitor of the AB5000
FDA-Approved AB5000 Ventricular Assist Device and Early Intervention Help Support Hearts, in Some Cases Avoiding Heart Transplant


New Cardiac Care technology is in place at St. Maryís of Michigan which will give critically ill patients the chance to give their hearts a rest.  Itís called a Ventricle Assist Device and it takes over the work of the heart while giving it the opportunity to rest and heal.


This FDA approved medical device provides temporary support for one or both sides of the heart in circumstances where the organ has failed, giving the patientís heart the opportunity to rest and potentially recover. Patients at St. Maryís of Michigan whose hearts go into shock following such traumatic events as a heart attack, myocarditis or coronary artery bypass graft surgery will now have access to these life saving devices which may make it possible to avoid having a heart transplant.


The AB5000 is inserted by surgeons into the right, left or both ventricles and serves as an external pump or ventricle, allowing for blood to continue reaching vital organs even when the heart is in a weakened state. This device encourages recovery as it is gentle on the heart, utilizing thin cannulae inserted through a small incision, rather than more traumatic bridge-to-transplant devices that core the ventricles.


About the AB5000
The AB5000 was FDA approved in September 2003 to provide temporary support for one or both sides of the natural heart in circumstances where the heart has failed, giving the patientís heart the opportunity to rest and potentially recoveróand giving surgeons the therapeutic flexibility necessary to determine the best endpoint for treatment.


Assisted by vacuum, blood flows from the native heart into the AB5000ô Ventricle bladder. The bladder, which holds about 100 cc of blood, fills and empties much like the natural heart. In fact, the AB5000 Ventricle is essentially half of ABIOMEDís AbioCor artificial heartóone of the most sophisticated medical devices ever made. The device connects to the body via cannulae, or tubes, implanted in the patient's heart. These tubes pass through the patientís skin and connect directly to the AB5000 console.  In addition, the device allows patients to walk (ambulate) with the support of the console, which may help them recover.
 
     

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