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Teen gets world’s first permanent artificial heart transplant

eHEALTH Bureau He is a 15 years old boy and has become the world’s first human being to live with an artificial but permanent heart. The Italian boy, suffering from muscle-wasting illness Duchenne’s syndrome, had the 10-hour operation last week to implant the heart and was said to be well in responsive to the medication, reports news agancies. Due to the syndrome from the childhood, he has ineligible for a heart transplant and was close to death when surgeons decided to save him with the artificial heart in a hospital in Rome. The surgeon, Antonio Amodeo, who carried out the operation at Bambino Gesu children’s hospital said the artificial heart is expected to give the boy another 20-25 years of ‘normal life’. Amodeo said the heart is 4 cms long and was placed inside the left ventricle and its connection with the ascending aorta. The device is an electrically activated hydraulic pump and is entirely located inside the thorax, in order to reduce the risk of infection, which is powered through a plug positioned behind the left ear and connected to a battery that the patient holds on a belt and is charged during the night like a mobile phone, informed the medical team of the surgery. “This is the first time such a device has been placed in a young child and should give him an improved quality of life even though he is suffering from Duchenne’s syndrome,” Amodeo said.

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