SynCardia Portable Freedom Driver: A Single-Center Experience With 11 Patients

Nilay R. Shah, Dawn E. Jaroszewski, Awais Ashfaq, Lucas A. Schroedl, Linda L. Staley, Octavio E. Pajaro, Vigneshwar Kasirajan, Francisco A. Arabia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: The portable Freedom Drive (SynCardia Inc, Tucson, AZ USA) for total artificial heart (TAH-t) support was approved for an investigational device exemption study in March 2010. We review our center's experience with the portable driver.

METHODS: A retrospective review was conducted of patients who underwent TAH-t implantation and transfer to portable driver from September 2008 to June 2012, with follow-up through December 2012.

RESULTS: A total of 30 patients underwent TAH-t implantation during this time period, with 11 patients successfully transferred to the Freedom Driver. Transfer to Freedom Driver after TAH-t implant was a median of 46 days (range, 225-86 days). Ninety-one percent (10) of 11 patients transferred to Freedom Driver were bridged to transplantation. One patient died on support. Five (45.5%) of 11 patients were discharged home and 5 (45.5%) remained in-patient on the portable driver before transplantation. Four patients (80%) successfully discharged home required at least 1 hospital readmission (range, 1-5 admissions per patient). Six patients (55%) transferred to the portable driver required a return to a main driver console. Two patients were temporarily maintained on the main driver then returned to the Freedom Driver for bridge to transplantation.

CONCLUSIONS: Patients with TAH-t can be considered for transfer to the portable Freedom Driver while awaiting transplantation. Issues that complicated this patient population included inadequate social support, hemodynamic instability, and concurrent morbidities. The potential benefits of the portable driver are currently undergoing assessment. These may include increased mobility and improved quality of life, opportunity for discharge home, and decreased overall medical costs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)188-194
Number of pages7
JournalInnovations: Technology and Techniques in Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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