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Heart Failure

In order to confirm that a patient presenting with a heart attack has in fact had one, doctors typically use bulky, expensive lab equipment ... which isn't always available to clinicians in developing nations or rural locations. That's why scientists from Korea's Pohang University of Science and Technology have created a simple thermometer-like device that reportedly does the job.

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Heart failure patients awaiting organ transplants normally find themselves anchored to the hospital bed by a washing machine-sized device that keeps blood pumping through their veins. But for Stan Larkin, a patient at the University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center, a new form of wearable technology is allowing him to keep on the move. The Freedom Driver is a compact, mobile version of the same machine that allows patients like Larkin to go about their normal lives while they wait for a matching donor heart to arrive. Read More
When you hurt a muscle, it's usually advisable to lay off extensive use of it, until it's had a chance to heal. Well, your heart is a muscle. Although you can't just stop using it altogether when it's damaged, you can make its job easier. That's what Sunshine Heart's C-Pulse system was designed to do, and a current study suggests that it does indeed help victims of heart failure recover more quickly. Read More
Last Wednesday in Paris, a 75 year-old man received an artificial heart. That in itself might not be newsworthy, as such devices have been in use since the early 80s. In this case, however, the gadget in question was the first Carmat bioprosthetic artificial heart to ever be implanted in a human. According to its inventor, cardiac surgeon Alain Carpentier, it's the world's first self-regulating artificial heart. Read More
We've seen flying drones designed to deliver food and even beer on command, but a new autonomous aircraft from a non-profit organization in Germany could provide medical equipment to remote areas in an emergency. The Defikopter is a UAV that can be activated by a smartphone app to automatically take to the skies and drop a defibrillator to medical personnel on the ground, shaving precious seconds off of the time it takes for a person to receive treatment for cardiac arrest. Read More
When someone has a heart attack, it’s crucial that they receive treatment as soon as possible. Emergency medical technicians, however, are limited in how detailed of an on-the-spot diagnosis they can make of a patient’s condition. This means that actual treatment often has to wait until they get the patient to a hospital. That could be changing, however, as a scientist with GE Global Research is now looking into the use of “microbubbles” as a mobile means of imaging the heart and possibly even treating it. Read More
Lowering the body’s core temperature has been shown to decrease the likelihood of neurological damage in the event of oxygen deprivation. In a process known as “therapeutic hypothermia,” hospital medical staff will routinely administer chilled water blankets or insert cold drip catheters, in order to protect patients who have just experienced a cardiac arrest or stroke. What can be done, however, when someone has a heart attack far from a hospital? Well, in the near future, bystanders may be able to suit them up with a cooling vest – possibly saving them from permanent brain injury. Read More
If you haven't heard about takotsubo cardiomyopathy, also known as "broken heart syndrome," you may be surprised to find that one to two percent of people who are initially suspected of having a heart attack are finally discovered to have this increasingly recognized syndrome. New research suggests the condition that temporarily causes heart failure in people who experience severe stress might actually protect the heart from very high levels of adrenaline. Read More
Technology is delivering a array of health monitoring systems that can record a person’s blood pressure or perform an ECG on the go. Now researchers have turned their attention to monitoring cardiac pressure, an indicator of heart problems that can normally only be measured using an invasive procedure known as a coronary angiography. Read More
Heart disease remains one the biggest killers in the Western world. When a heart attack or heart failure occurs, permanent damage often results, destroying live cells and leaving the patient with irreversible scarring. Now scientists at the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease (GICD) have discovered a new technique to create healthy beating heart cells from structural cells, opening up the possibility of regenerating damaged hearts. Read More
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