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Artificial Heart


Until recently, the only option for many severe heart failure patients has been heart transplants.The average adult human heart pumps blood at a rate of 60 to 100 beats per minute.

Blood from your body is received via the superior vena cava (SVC) and the inferior vena cava (IVC) into the right atrium (RA). It then passes from the right atrium into the right ventricle (RV) and is subsequently pumped via the pulmonary artery (PA) into your lungs.

In the lungs, blood is enriched with oxygen and carbon dioxide is removed from it. Blood from your lungs is received by the left atrium (LA) and passes into the left ventricle (LV) from where it is pumped via the aorta into your body. It supplies oxygen and nutrients to the different cells in your body.

When your heart isn t pumping enough blood around your body because your heart is severely failing, you may need an artificial heart.

An artificial heart is a mechanical device, about the size of an orange, that is connected to your heart or implanted in your chest to help or replace a failing heart. It may have several valves, a mechanism to propel blood forward, and one or more chambers. Sometimes an artificial heart may help your heart temporarily, until yours recovers. If this is the case, the artificial heart will be removed when it is no longer needed. More commonly, when there is irreversible heart muscle damage and your heart can t recover, the artificial heart stays until you can have a heart transplant. If no other options are available, an artificial heart may completely and permanently replace your heart.

An artificial heart that provides an extra ventricle (pumping chamber in your heart) to help to pump blood around your body. This is called a ventricular assist device (VAD).

Total artificial hearts (TAH) are a mechanical substitute for your entire heart. They are put into your body after your heart has been removed.

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