Heart recipient to be moved

Posted: January 05, 2002

Sixty days after he received an artificial heart at Hahnemann University Hospital, James Quinn was doing well enough that the staff is planning his transfer to a private nursing facility nearby, the hospital announced yesterday.

When Quinn was chosen to be part of a limited trial of the new, completely implantable device, doctors estimated that he had a 70 percent chance of dying of heart failure within a month.

Designers of the clinical trial defined a successful outcome as 60 days of survival with improved quality of life, the hospital said.

A month after his surgery, Quinn, a 51-year-old former baker from West Philadelphia, walked into a hotel meeting room and talked with reporters for a half-hour.

He attended a church service Dec. 23 and visited with family and friends Christmas Day. He routinely does physical therapy, walks around the hospital, and is putting on weight, said Lila Ivey, hospital spokeswoman.

Moving Quinn will be a complex matter.

"This is a process that requires careful planning," said Louis Samuels, the surgeon who implanted the device. "We have been continuously learning what issues need to be addressed while he has been hospitalized. Now, we must focus on issues that may be encountered when Mr. Quinn is eventually discharged."

Quinn was the fifth patient and the only one from the Philadelphia region to receive the artificial heart, made by Abiomed Inc., of Danvers, Mass., since July.

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