Sydney Hospital to Serve as SynCardia’s Regional
Certification Center for Asia-Pacific
TUCSON, Ariz. – Aug. 19, 2010 – On
Aug. 5, St. Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney performed
Australia’s first implant of the SynCardia temporary Total
Artificial Heart. The patient, a 50-year-old-male suffering from
total heart failure, is the first recipient of the Total Artificial
Heart in the Southern Hemisphere. The surgery was performed by
heart surgeons Drs. Phillip Spratt and Paul Jansz. View extensive
“At any one time there can be around 30 people waiting for
a heart transplant at our hospital,” said Dr. Spratt, Head of
the St. Vincent’s Hospital Heart/Lung Transplant Unit.
“We selected this patient to receive the Total Artificial
Heart as a bridge-to-transplant because without it, he would have
had less than two weeks to live.”
Angelo Tigano had suffered from idiopathic cardiomyopathy for
more than a decade. Walking more than a few steps left him gasping
for breath, until finally he was unable to eat or sleep. Mr. Tigano
says he hopes the Total Artificial Heart will improve his quality
of life and allow him to return to some of the normal activities he
did before suffering heart failure.
“The Total Artificial Heart has no equal,” said Dr.
Spratt, who led the Total Artificial Heart implant surgery.
“Unlike a left ventricular assist device (LVAD), which helps
the failing left ventricle, the Total Artificial Heart replaces
both the left and right heart ventricles which are responsible for
The implant surgery was proctored by world renowned heart
surgeon Dr. Jack Copeland, who recently joined the faculty at the
University of California, San Diego, and has performed more than
100 implants of the Total Artificial Heart. St. Vincent’s
Hospital is the 31st hospital in the world to become a SynCardia Certified
Center. Currently, there are Certified Centers in the U.S.,
Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Austria, Russia and now
St. Vincent’s is the largest transplant hospital in
Australia and will serve as SynCardia’s Regional
Certification Center for the Asia-Pacific. Device Technologies is
the Australasian distributor of the SynCardia Total Artificial
Heart and is a major supplier of leading edge medical equipment and
consumables to hospitals and healthcare professionals throughout
Australia and New Zealand.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in
Australia. Despite the increase in this condition and consequent
growing demand for transplants, the supply of donor hearts is
falling in Australia. In 2009, a total of 60 heart transplants took
place, compared with 82 in 2008. Australia has one of the lowest
donation rates in the developed world with only 12 donors per
million in 2008.
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
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
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