CHENEY: If I Only Had A Heart


NEW YORK TIMES: At 69, Mr. Cheney’s heart will never beat at full strength again, doctors say. His new mechanical pump — a partial artificial heart known as a ventricular assist device — leaves patients without a pulse because it pushes blood continuously instead of mimicking the heart’s own beat. Most pulse-less patients feel nothing unusual, but the devices do pose significant risks of infection. They are implanted as a last resort either for permanent use or as a bridge to transplant until a donor heart can be found. Mr. Cheney, who has participated in some of the nation’s toughest decisions for decades, now faces a crucial one of his own: whether to seek a full heart transplant. It is a decision he will most likely be forced to make within months. He is old enough that soon he will no longer qualify for a transplant, doctors say. And while it is possible for some patients with Mr. Cheney’s device to live for years, the long-term prospects remain unknown. MORE

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *