Man with new permanent artificial heart says he is living a normal life

16th April 2015

A 69-year-old man who has become the second person to receive a French-made permanent artificial heart has told a weekly newspaper he is living a normal life.

The man, who does not wish to be named, says that eight months after having his transplant he is enjoying exercise, including cycling.

New Carmat artificial heart

The device, made by French biotechnology firm Carmat, is undergoing trial in France as a permanent implant to extend the lives of people with severe heart failure, including those with advanced cardiomyopathy.

The company's first transplant patient, a 76-year-old man, died in March last year, two-and-a-half months after his operation.

The man told Le Journal du Dimanche:"I have completely recovered. I can walk, I can get up and I can bend down 10 to 15 times a day without any difficulty. In fact, I have never felt so good.”

Carmat is halfway through a clinical trial of its artificial heart, made of synthetic and natural materials and weighing around 1 kilogram, in four patients suffering from end-stage heart failure.

Surgeons Daniel Duveau said the next two transplants should be scheduled in the coming months.

The heart is made from polyurethane and materials derived from cow hearts. It is powered by an external battery pack and aims to give patients a normal life after the transplant.

It is designed to last up to five years and be used in patients who aren't eligible for a human transplant, or those waiting for one. Larger than a normal human heart, it is not suitable for some women and children.

It is hoped that the natural materials will solve problems with blood clotting that can happen when blood comes into contact with artificial materials like plastic.

If the trial results are good, the company plans to expand the study to 20 patients.