Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Repairing more hearts with implanted pumps

When it comes to hearts, Taneal Wilson won the lottery. A small pump implanted to keep the 31-year-old alive long enough for a heart transplant somehow helped Wilson's ravaged heart completely recover instead. Only a lucky few are ever weaned off those implants, their rested hearts able to work on their own again. How to duplicate those successes is one of cardiology's biggest questions - as a new generation of the heart pumps begins U.S. testing.

Experts gathered by the National Institutes of Health recently urged testing heart pumps on patients who aren't quite as sick, instead of reserving them for the near-dead like doctors do today.

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