On 28 July, in the Lancet medical journal, Professor Carpentier et al. published information on three patients who had undergone a Carmat heart transplant – information that had been “jealously guarded” until then.
This “long awaited” article provides information about “implantation details, follow-up and the causes of death of the first two patients to receive a prototype of this bioprosthesis”. The two deaths “occurred 74 and 270 days, respectively, after implantation and cannot be attributed to the formation of a blood clot which could have blocked the prosthesis”. Furthermore, “no mechanical dysfunction in the artificial heart was mentioned”. According to the team of scientists, “both deaths were due to defective electronic components”.
The third person underwent implant surgery on 8 April. The “alarm systems were corrected in order to facilitate earlier intervention”. Doctors are cautious but confident: “It’s still early days – but the second patient survived for almost 9 months. Every implantation is a major step forward and this is certainly beneficial for all future implant patients”.
A fourth implantation is scheduled but the information is still confidential: “We are cautiously carrying out implants and will take a step forward when we are certain of what we are doing. We are taking the time we need between the third and fourth implant”.
Pourquoi Docteur (29/07/2015) ; le Quotidien du médecin (29/07/2015)