Heart Implant Patient Doing Well - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Doctors Keep Policy of Silence

Heart Implant Patient Doing Well

The patient's identity is still a mystery two weeks after the first self-contained mechanical heart was implanted. And that has brought criticism from other medical researchers like Robert Jarvik, inventor of the Jarvik-7 artificial heart, who says details about this patient's recovery could help other cardiac patients.

But cardiologist Dr. Laman Gray defends the policy of silence: "We're doing what we think is right. We're trying to preserve and protect the patient and his family."

Doctors say the patient sleeps six to eight hours a day, and eats about 2,600 calories a day. He isn't walking, but he's doing his exercises in bed. Doctors aren't saying what the patient does in his free time, and also won't talk about his attitude or emotions.

"There certainly are no secrets. There's nothing that's being hidden from anybody, we're disclosing everything about the patient," said cardiologist Dr. Robert Dowling.

Doctors do say that the patient, who is in his mid-50s, also suffers from diabetes and kidney problems. Since the operation, they have noticed significant lung, kidney, and liver improvement.

"We've seen no signs of infection. His white cell count is where it should be, and we're very positive about that," said Dowling.

Online Author: Melissa Schantz

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