University of Rochester Medical Center Implants Gaetano “Gates” Orlando with World’s Only approved Total Artificial Heart to Bridge Him to a Heart Transplant
SynCardia Systems, Inc., manufacturer of the world’s first and only FDA, Health Canada and CE (Europe) approved Total Artificial Heart, announced today that retired professional hockey player and two-time Olympian, Gaetano “Gates” Orlando, has become the first person in upstate New York to receive the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart. The 49-year-old, who played for the Buffalo Sabres and Rochester Americans, as well as the Italian national team in the 1994 and 1998 Olympics, received the Total Artificial Heart on April 4, at University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC).
“This is tremendous technology that can have a dramatic effect on patients who are experiencing advanced heart failure,” said H. Todd Massey, M.D., surgical director of the URMC Artificial Heart Program who led the surgery. “For this patient, it was the only option to keep him alive until a donor heart could become available.”
Last year, Orlando was diagnosed with a rare disease known as sarcoidosis, which led to heart failure and caused potentially fatal arrhythmias. Doctors placed him on medication and gave him a defibrillator to help regulate his heart rhythms. However, on March 30, while undergoing a procedure to change out the defibrillator, Orlando was struck by a life-threatening arrhythmia. Doctors placed him on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), which takes over the function of the heart and the lungs, and quickly made arrangements to perform their first implant of the Total Artificial Heart to save his life.
“The Total Artificial Heart leads to recovery of organ function in the most critically ill patients, allowing for a heart transplant when the patient is more stable – which ultimately helps achieve better outcomes following transplantation,” said Dr. Massey… read more at Syncardia.com