Doctors say that a new type of heart pump greatly improves survival of people with severe heart failure. It could become the first one of these devices to be widely used as a permanent treatment.
The device is called the HeartMate II, and it's implanted next to a patient's own heart to help it pump. In a study, the new device increased by four times the number of patients who survived at least two years. That's compared to an older pump that is used now just for short periods to keep people alive until a heart transplant can be done.
The big issue is cost. The device costs $80,000, plus $45,000 for the surgery and hospital stay to implant it.