hi i read about a interesting article tat human being lives without heart.dont get shocked he can live with a man made artificial heart. read this u can learn more.
What is an artificial heart?
An artificial heart is an extra ventricle (pumping chamber) capable of pumping
blood around the body of a person whose own heart is failing. The pump itself
is made of a combination of metal and plastic and consists of a small pumping
chamber lined by a special material that prevents blood clots from forming. The
pumping chamber may be implanted within the body itself or may lie outside the
body depending on the type of artificial heart being used.
An artificial heart may be connected to a person in various ways to support the
left heart, the right heart or both sides of the heart ;
it may be
• attached to the left atrium/ventricle and the aorta (called a “left ventricular
assist device” or LVAD), or
• attached to the right atrium and pulmonary artery (called a “right
ventricular assist device” or RVAD), or
• attached in both ways described above (called a “biventricular assist
device” or BiVAD).
The device may bypass the weakened ventricle(s) either partially or totally.
Another type is the” total artificial heart” (TAH) which is a mechanical substitute
for the entire heart. It is implanted after the person’s heart has been removed.
This type is rarely used at present.
How does an artificial heart work?
Blood enters the artificial heart from the left or right atrium and is then pumped
into the aorta or pulmonary artery, depending on which side of the heart is
The device is powered by either compressed air or electricity. A thin cable
connects the pumping chamber to a control console from which the pump function
is regulated. The control console may be a large box on wheels that stays beside
the person and can move with the person when he or she walks around in the
hospital. More recently, a much smaller controller with attachable batteries has
been designed which can be worn by the person on a belt or vest. This allows the
person much greater freedom and mobility compared with the large console.
Who needs an artificial heart?
A person may require an artificial heart when his or her own heart fails and
is unable to pump blood to meet the body’s needs. These people may have
symptoms such as persistent tiredness, lethargy, shortness of breath on
exertion or at rest, poor appetite, and swelling of their ankles. Function of other
body organs such as the lungs, liver and kidneys may also be impaired as a
result of heart failure.
Reasons why the heart fails include:
• disease of the heart muscle itself (cardiomyopathy)
• disease of the arteries of the heart (coronary heart disease) and its
complications (e.g. a heart attack)
• severe viral infections of the heart (myocarditis)
• other less common diseases.
People with a failing heart are first treated with drugs that take the load off
the heart and help it function better. Sometimes the heart failure is so severe
that the drugs are ineffective. The other treatment option for these severely ill
people is heart transplantation.
Heart transplants are performed using hearts donated from people who suffer
brain death; for example, as a result of a motor vehicle accident or a brain
haemorrhage. These people’s hearts are working well despite brain death.
Unfortunately there are not enough heart donors in this country to help all those
people who need a heart transplant. Therefore, some of these people will die
from their heart failure before a transplant can be performed.
Artificial hearts may be used in these very ill people as a temporary measure
until a donor heart becomes available, or to allow a person’s damaged heart to
rest or recover following damage. Occasionally, artificial hearts are implanted
as a last resort in people who are unsuitable for heart transplantation.
Between twenty and thirty people receive artificial hearts in Australia each
year. Most of these artificial hearts have been implanted as a bridge to heart
transplantation. However, recently a small number have been implanted on a
permanent basis as an alternative to heart transplantation.