Initial clinical experience with cardiac assistance by investigators in Brooklyn, NY, and Houston, indicates that it is possible for a mechanical pump to assume the major portion of the work of the left ventricle for a prolonged period.
In recent months there have been four such trials: two in Brooklyn by Adrian Kantrowitz, MD, and his co-workers; and two in Houston by a group directed by Michael E. DeBakey, MD.
One patient survives, a 63-year-old woman who had a left ventricular assistance pump implanted May 18 at Maimonides Hospital, Brooklyn. The remaining three patients died one to five days following implantation of the cardiac assistance devices. Death in each patient was due to causes unattributed to their heart pumps, which the surgeons said had functioned in a satisfactory manner.
At both centers, it was found that trauma to the formed elements of the blood could be kept well within acceptable