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French firm starts human trials of artificial heart

Published on Dec 21, 2013 1:32 AM

PARIS (AFP) - French biomedical firm Carmat said on Friday it had begun the first human trial of an artificial heart aimed at overcoming shortages of organs available for transplant.

The operation, which took place on Wednesday at the Georges Pompidou Hospital in Paris, "went satisfactorily," it said in a statement.

The patient, whom it did not name, "is conscious and speaking to relatives," Carmat said, adding that it was too early to draw longer-term conclusions about the operation.

Artificial hearts have been in use for many years as a temporary fix for patients awaiting a transplant. But tens of thousands die each yer because of a lack of available organs.

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