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February 28, 2001
Surgeons at Penn State
Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
Perform Groundbreaking Surgery

Hershey, Pa. --- Physicians at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center today (Feb 28) implanted a new type of heart assist device called the Arrow LionHeart ™ for the first time in the United States. The patient is in critical condition and recovering as expected at the Medical Center.

This marks the beginning of U.S. clinical trials recently approved by the FDA and sponsored by Arrow International, Inc., of Reading, PA.

The Arrow LionHeart™ is the first heart assist device powered by wireless electric transmission to reach clinical trial. It is the result of an eight-year collaboration among researchers affiliated with Penn State Artificial Organs program and Arrow International.

Under the direction of Walter E. Pae, Jr., M.D. and Arrow, clinical trials have been proceeding in Europe since October 1999. To date, the first European patient is home and doing well 16 months after surgery.

The new heart assist device, based on an approach originated by William S. Pierce, M.D., Ph.D., who founded the Penn State Artificial Organs program, couples the latest in electronic and biomaterials technology.

EDITORS: More information, updates and photos are available at on the Internet.


Mindy Kelchner
College of Medicine/Hershey Medical Center
A'ndrea Messer
Public Information
814-865-9481-o 814-867-1774 (h)
Vicki Fong
Public Information
814-865-9481-o 814-238-1221 (h)

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