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Hearts in the News

Posted Aug 13 2009 7:52pm

I wanted to share a few articles that I came across on CBS News this past week that have to do with heart problems and transplants.  Some are informative, some are inspirational…enjoy!

Pump Gives New Hope to Heart Patients This article discusses the Heart Mate II which is an external pump designed in a size that fits women, that can provide assistance to hearts that are failing in women who are too small for other devices currently on the market.  The article discusses the fact that currently these devices are only available to those awaiting transplant – much like the Berlin Heart was for Mackenzie, but could, in the future, be made available to those who are perhaps older or are not transplant candidates for one reason or another.  This would allow them to live longer, more active lives with their failing hearts.  The other thing the article gives a short amount of discussion on is the fact that in this 27 year old woman, the pump actually HEALED the heart.  So, she was able to come off the machine and not have to have a transplant after all.  So, there is a chance that transplants could become a much less necessary intervention!

Doc’s Prom Pomise Fulfilled This article is a tearjerker!  Stefani Pentiuk had a heart transplant at age 8 and one of her doctors then (sounds like he was probably a cardiology fellow at the time) made a promise that she would not only survive the transplant but that he would take her to her high school prom.  Well, he didn’t take her to the prom, but he did show up to dance with her!  Although Stefani had to have a kidney transplant recently due to rejection problems, she is not only surviving, but seems to be thriving!

Study: Heart has ability to Heal Itself This article discusses new findings that heart cells are regenerating (something that was unknown before) and gives hope to improving heart functioning after heart attacks, etc.  It has some greaat interactive extras included as well!

“Polypill” for Heart Passes Big Test As someone who had to give her three month old mulitple medicines multiple times a day for a heart problem, something like this sounds incredibly promising (although I’m sure it would not be calibrated for infants very soon).  This one pill combines the necessary ingredients to ward off heart failure – “low doses of three blood pressure medicines (atenolol, ramipril and the “water pill” thiazide), plus the generic version of the cholesterol-lowering statin drug Zocor, and a baby aspirin (100 milligrams).”  M was on Carvedilol, Analipril, Lasix (water pill) and baby aspirin.  I don’t think she had to take the cholesterol-lowering drug…but everything else…

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