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FDA Approves New Partial Artificial Heart

U.S. government regulators have approved a new partial artificial heart designed to help some patients as they wait for a heart transplant.

The Food and Drug Administration announced its approval of the new device Monday.

The mechanical device is designed to replace the lower part of a diseased heart, and keep patients alive while they await a donor heart for a transplant. The device is implanted in the patient and connected to an outside power source.

The company that manufactures the new device - Syncardia Systems of Tucson, Arizona, in the southwestern U.S. - says it tested it on 81 patients. It says it kept 79 of them alive more than two months until donor hearts could be found.