Cheney may seek heart transplant

Jan. 5, 2011 at 10:57 AM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- Doctors say former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, 69, must decide within months whether to seek a heart transplant before he becomes too old to qualify.

Cheney received a heart pump in July in a move doctors said saved his life, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

The mechanical pump, a partial artificial heart, leaves patients without a pulse because it pushes blood continuously instead of mimicking a heartbeat.

The device poses significant risk of infection, doctors told The Times.

They are implanted it as a last resort either for permanent use or as a bridge until a donor heart can be found.

Cheney appeared noticeably thinner a few days before Christmas when he headlined a fundraiser at the home of his former aide Mary Matalin.

The event was for Maria Cino, a former Bush administration official seeking to replace Michael Steele as head of the Republican National Committee.

Cheney has been working on a book that is scheduled to come out this fall, his daughter, Liz said.

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