Health Watch - Donation and Transplants: Heart Failure

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This week on Health Watch, we’ve been talking about the importance of blood, organ and tissue donation. A transplant may be the only hope for a patient whose heart is failing, but some patients aren’t good candidates for a transplant because of other medical issues. Now there’s an alternative to a heart transplant.

Even with medication, heart failure usually leads to progressively declining health. Fewer than half the patients diagnosed with advanced heart failure live more than a year. The FDA has now approved the use of a left-ventricular assist device, an implant that takes over most of the work for the failing heart.

Dr. Mark Drazner, an expert on heart failure and medical director of the Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplantation Program at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says this device can give patients a new lease on life and allow them to live longer, healthier lives.

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May 2010


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