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Missing Records of Artificial Heart Case Found By DeVries

June 12, 1985

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) _ Most of the medical records of the world’s first recipient of a permanent artificial heart have been found in unopened boxes by the surgeon who reported them missing last summer, University of Utah officials say.

The documents detailed the 1982 artificial heart implant by Dr. William C. DeVries in Barney Clark.

DeVries was preparing to move to Louisville, Ky., last summer when he was unable to find a 1,000-page record that included Clark’s hour-by-hour condition report.

The University of Utah Health Sciences Center disclosed last March that the files were missing, said they had been stolen and threatened to prosecute ″to the fullest extent of the law if we find out who took it.″

Spokesmen said there had been other cases of articles, photographs and other items associated with the operation being stolen, apparently by souvenir hunters.

Some records still were missing, Anne Brillinger, public relations spokeswoman, said Tuesday night.

The boxes had been packed by others helping DeVries move, the university’s statement said.

All of the Clark medical records in possession of the university, records of the university’s Institutional Review Board deliberations on the artificial heart and Clark postoperative data which had been computerized now have been consolidated in the university’s Office of Records Management, said Dr. Don E. Detmer, vice president for health sciences.

″The University of Utah now has the essential parts of the Barney Clark medical record permanently stored in a safe area where the record can be made accessible to appropriate scientific researchers,″ Detmer said.

The artificial heart was implanted in Clark at the university hospital Dec. 2, 1982. Clark, 62, died March 23, 1983.

Devries has performed three other such operations in Louisville.

AP-PX-06-12-85 0834EST

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