Eufemio Garcia, the first patient in Catalonia with a long-term artificial heart

The HUB was already a pioneer in Spain in the first artificial heart in 2007, but on that occasion, the patient could not be discharged with the device, and it was removed 4 months later after recovering from the disease.

On February 20th, it was presented at the University Hospital of Bellvitge a new mechanical ventricular assistance that has allowed for the first time in Catalonia the discharge of a patient carrying the device.

The participants at the presentation were Dr. Albert Salazar medical director of the HUB, Dr. Salvador Gil Vernet, director of the Transplant Program, Dr. Carles Fontanillas Head of Cardiac Surgery, Dr. Nicolás Manito head of the heart failure and cardiac transplantation, Dr. Albert Miralles  heart surgeon, and Dr. Jose Gonzalez Costello cardiologist.

The patient, Eufemio Garcia received the implantation of ventricular assistance on November 23rd, and was discharged on January 5th. Since then he led a normal life at home. The findings of subsequent studies showed that the device worked properly at all times, Eufemio died of a malignant ventricular arrhythmia that could not be reversed by the defibrillator that he was also carrying.

The increased prevalence of acute and chronic advanced heart failure, the limited availability of hearts for transplantation, and the ongoing progress in the efficiency, safety and comfort of these mechanical devices make cardiologists anticipate a growing role of this type of mechanical circulatory assistance that will progressive complete the role of heart transplant as a therapy for advanced heart failure.

The Hub has been a leader in this field since its origins. It is a pioneer in the introduction of an intra aortic balloon pump (1974), the use of external centrifugal pumps (1984), the external pulsating pump Abiomed (1992) and permanent ventricular assistance (2007). Its Cardiologists and cardiac surgeons are in contact with leading experts and have made trips to prestigious schools such as Columbia University Medical Center in New York, and are engaged in numerous research projects.

February 2012

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