(Reuters) — The artificial heart fitted in a patient who died May 2 malfunctioned due to a fault with the controls of its motor, but an initial analysis indicates there are no fundamental problems with the device, its manufacturer Carmat (FRA:CXT) said in a statement.
The patient, the 2nd to die while fitted with a Carmat artificial heart, suffered from a reduced flow of blood as a result of the malfunction, the company said.
But it pointed out that the patient lived "a virtually normal life" wearing the device for 9 months, a period it said was long enough to demonstrate its biocompatibility with the patient’s body and blood.
"At this stage of the analysis, the design’s fundamentals have thus been corroborated," Carmat said.
Further data "will provide an opportunity to pursue the expertise of the causes of the malfunction more proficiently," the company said.
CXT shares were suspended yesterday after news of the 69-year-old male patient’s death. A spokeswoman said she expected the suspension to be lifted today.
In April, the patient told weekly Le Journal du Dimanche in an interview he had never felt so good and was leading a normal life, including physical exercise, 8 months after his transplant. The patient was discharged from the hospital in January. The company’s 1st transplant patient, a 76-year-old man, died in March last year, 2½ months after his operation.
A third patient was fitted with a Carmat artificial heart April 8.