Sunshine Heart Company Pty Limited from Australia reports that its novel C-Pulse Heart Failure Device has been implanted into a 56-year old patient with history of congestive heart failure. The operation took place at New Zealand’s Auckland City Hospital on 4th May 2005.
The device works through external aortic counterpulsation:
The Sunshine Heart C-Pulse is an implantable mechanical heart assist device powered by an external driver/controller/power supply unit. The C-Pulse has been specifically designed to address many of the limitations of current mechanical heart assist devices. The C-Pulse is implanted in the patient by wrapping the cuff around the patient’s ascending aorta and attaching the sensing lead to the heart. The gas tube and the sensing lead will exit the body through the skin in the abdominal region.
The device has 3 main components:
— a cuff consists of an assembled wrap and balloon. The cuff wraps around the ascending aorta of a patient just above the heart. The balloon is inflated and deflated in time with heart filling and pumping, respectively. This counterpulsation action acts to force blood out of the ascending aorta and to assist the heart to pump blood more efficiently;
— a sensing lead which conveys the heart’s electrical signals to the controller
— a driver unit which is linked by an air tube to the cuff and which causes the balloon in the cuff to inflate and deflate in rhythm with the heart. The control of counterpulsation timing can be adjusted by the clinician to maximise patient benefit. The driver unit may be powered either by electrical supply or a battery. The battery allows mobility, but needs to be recharged on a regular basis.