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Implantable heart support system helps French patient for more than five years

Berlin Heart : 07 August, 2008  (Company News)
A 64-year-old man from France is the patient with the longest support time worldwide by the implantable heart support system INCOR from Berlin Heart.
For five years the Frenchman has been living with the system.

In August 2003, the then 59-year-old Jean-Pierre Offe was suffering from end-stage heart failure. Poor blood circulation in the heart muscle and two heart attacks had weakened his heart so severely it could no longer supply his body with enough blood. For medical reasons Offe was not eligible for heart transplantation, but desperately needed support for his failing heart.

As an alternative to heart transplantation, Offe's doctors at the university hospital CHU Henri Mondor in Paris-Creteil, France, decided to Implant a mechanical heart support system. They chose the implantable INCOR heart support system from Berlin Heart. Professor Daniel Loisance, head of the cardiac surgery department, led the implantation and said about INCOR: 'We decided to use INCOR because the system is ideally suited for long-term support and easily fits into the everyday life of the patient. For patients waiting for a heart transplant or needing life-time support, these are essential criteria.'

The reason why INCOR is so well suited for long-term support lies in its design and operating principle. The axial impeller, the only moving part within the pump, is magnetically levitated and therefore completely free from wear and tear.

'With this patent-protected technology, the pump is worldwide unique,' said Dr Johannes Mueller, general manager of Berlin Heart.

After the implantation Offe recovered well and was discharged from the hospital after three weeks. He returns to the hospital for routine check-ups only once every three months. In the meantime Offe has retired and enjoys life with his wife, four children, and seven grandchildren. Describing his life with the system, Offe said: 'Before I received the INCOR heart support system, I was in a very bad condition and had poor chances of survival. Since the implantation, I am feeling so much better. I am coping very well with the system, I can go shopping, I can work in the garden, and I even was able to visit Berlin for vacation with my wife.'

Berlin Heart had invited Mr and Mrs Offe to come to Berlin for this special anniversary. They visited the company and gained insight into the development, production and quality standards of the high-tech pump. Offe was impressed by how many production steps are done by hand. 'It gives me a good feeling to know how much work goes into producing these systems and how strict the quality is controlled. This visit made me trust my pump even more.'
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