UCSD Medical Center to Begin Artificial Heart Certification

TUCSON, Ariz. — SynCardia Systems, Inc. announced that the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), led by Stuart W. Jamieson, M.B., F.R.C.S., Head of Cardiothoracic Surgery, will begin certification to implant the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart. Efforts to bring the Total Artificial Heart to UCSD were led by world-renowned heart surgeon, Dr. Jack Copeland, who joined the faculty in July.

“One of my main goals is to help support the heart transplant and ventricular assist device program at UCSD,” said Dr. Copeland. “Many patients who need a heart transplant won’t live long enough to receive one. The Total Artificial Heart is the only device capable of saving even the sickest patients and bridging them to transplant. At UCSD, I hope to achieve, if not surpass, the level of success we experienced with the Total Artificial Heart at University Medical Center in Tucson.”

In 1990, UCSD performed its first heart transplant and has performed 180 overall with excellent results. In 2011, construction is expected to be completed for UCSD’s new $227 million Sulpizio Family Cardiovascular Center, a 128,000-square-foot facility, which will house heart and stroke care in one location.

Prior to joining the faculty at UCSD, Dr. Copeland served as the Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Arizona, where he performed more than 100 implants of the Total Artificial Heart. In 1979, Dr. Copeland performed the University of Arizona’s first heart transplant. Since then, the program has performed more than 850 heart transplants.

About SynCardia Systems, Inc.
SynCardia Systems, Inc. is the Tucson-based manufacturer of the world’s only FDA, Health Canada and CE approved Total Artificial Heart: the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart. There have been more than 850 implants of the Total Artificial Heart, accounting for more than 200 patient years of life on the device.

Originally used as a permanent replacement heart, the Total Artificial Heart is currently approved as a bridge to human heart transplant for people dying from end-stage biventricular failure. The Total Artificial Heart is the only device that provides immediate, safe blood flow of up to 9.5 L/min through both ventricles.

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