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Rescuing Failing Hearts

Quote:Heart failure. It is a numbers game with far more losers than winners.
The American Heart Association reports that in the U.S. alone, nearly six million people suffer from a weakened heart that fails to pump sufficient blood and oxygen to vital organs. About 670,000 new heart failure cases are diagnosed each year, and more than 250,000 Americans die from the illness annually.
Living with a failing heart typically limits physical activity and requires a complex cocktail of medications to lower blood pressure and heart rate, remove excess fluids and boost the heart’s pumping ability.
As their condition deteriorates, the only long-term solution for many patients often is a heart transplant. However, most patients do not qualify for that procedure because of age or advanced disease. Moreover, only about 2,500 hearts are available for transplant each year in the U.S., a fraction of the need.
In recent years, however, technology has offered an increasingly viable alternative for many heart failure patients; implanted electromechanical heart pumps. Attached to the aorta and left ventricle and linked to an exterior controller by a flexible driveline, these devices boost the natural heart’s pumping function, often resulting in considerably improved health. Endquote

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