University of Maryland Medical Center surgeons said they were the first in U.S. to implant a newly designed heart pump called VentrAssist, which helps the left ventricle work and is smaller than other pumps. The first U.S. implant was done July 14 and a second patient received the pump Thursday, officials said. The two patients are a part of a five-center, 10-patient pilot study on the new pump, which is intended for patients who need long-term heart assistance. It has been implanted in more than 30 patients in Australia, New Zealand and Europe. Other participants in the U.S. study include centers at the Cleveland Clinic, Columbia University, the University of Minnesota and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. -- by the Associated Press
Md. surgeons announce first implants of new heart pump
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