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New Hope for Heart Patients

Robert Benkowski (MicroMed Technology, Inc.), 
Gino Morello (MicroMed Technology, Inc.), 
Heinrich Schima (AKH Hospital), 
Michael Vollkron (AKH Hospital), 
Company: AKH Hospital, Vienna, Austria
MicroMed Technology, Inc., Houston, TX, USA
Published: dSPACE NEWS 2004/1, Feb 2004

Donor hearts are scarce, and many cardiac patients never survive the long wait for a heart transplant. Even if a donor heart does become available on time, this does not automatically mean that the patient is saved. The patient’s general health has often deteriorated so far that the new heart is unable to function properly. The solution could be artificial pumps that assist the patient’s own heart. In a joint project with MicroMed Technology, Inc., the general hospital (AKH) in Vienna has developed a controller that continuously adjusts the output of a DeBakey VAD® blood pump to the patient’s needs. dSPACE Prototyper was successfully used for laboratory testing and the first clinical study.

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