Health Watch - Heart Month: Transplant Alternative

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This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about American Heart Month and ways to prevent, diagnose and treat heart disease. Even with great advances in medicine, many patients with heart failure don’t have much of a chance at a normal life, but new technology could make a difference.

Congestive heart failure usually leads to deteriorating health, even with medication. Dr. Mark Drazner, a heart failure expert at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says fewer than half of the patients diagnosed with advanced heart failure live for a year after diagnosis. Transplants offer some hope, but not all patients qualify and there’s a severe shortage of available organs. Last year, the FDA approved a fully implantable device that takes over a lot of the pumping work for the weakened heart. This allows patients with heart failure to lead longer, healthier lives. 


February 2011

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