The first patient fitted with an artificial heart made by the French company Carmat has died, the hospital that had performed the transplant in December said on Monday.
The 76-year-old man died on Sunday, 75 days after the operation, the Georges Pompidou European Hospital in Paris said in a statement, adding that the cause of his death could not be known for sure at this stage.
When he was fitted with the device, the man was suffering from terminal heart failure, when the sick heart can no longer pump enough blood to sustain the body, and was said to have only a few weeks, or even days, to live.
Carmat's bioprosthetic device is designed to replace the real heart for as much as five years, mimicking nature's work using biological materials and sensors. It aims to help the thousands of patients who die each year while awaiting a donor, and reducing the side-effects associated with transplants.
"Carmat wishes to pay tribute to the courage and the pioneering role of this patient and his family, as well as the medical team's dedication," a company spokeswoman said.
She stressed that it was premature to draw any conclusions on Carmat's artificial heart at this stage.
Three more patients in France with terminal heart failure are due to be fitted with the device. The clinical trial will be considered a success if the patients survive with the implant for at least a month.
If it passes the test, Carmat has said it would fit the device into about 20 patients with less severe heart failure. Reuters
First patient fitted with Carmat artificial heart dies