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How doctors reinvented the human heart — with no pulse

Does the thought of a 10,000 RPM, no-pulse artificial heart get your heart pumping? It should, and here’s one that will do that for you without skipping a beat. Creating an artificial heart that works flawlessly has not been an easy task for scientists over the years, even transplants can have their difficulties.

That is until Dr. Billy Cohn and Dr. Bud Frazier, at the Texas Heart Institute, developed such a device that has no heart beat — it simply pumps the blood, so to speak. After much research, including 38 calf’s later, the Dr.’s transplanted the “no-pulse” device into Craig Lewis, a 55-year-old who was dying from amyloidosis causing a build up of abnormal proteins clogging organs.

Lewis was given 12 months to live, but his wife, Linda, suggested they try the artificial heart. ”He wanted to live, and we didn’t want to lose him,” she says. “You never know how much time you have, but it was worth it.”

Surgery for Mr. Lewis was successful. “I listened and it was a hum, which was amazing,” Linda Lewis says. “He didn’t have a pulse.”

The “no-pulse” heart has a continuous flow and will last longer than other artificial hearts on the market, along with fewer problems for the patient. Because the artificial heart only has one moving part, the whirling rotor, the heart should last above and beyond expectations — and giving hope to those a second chance at life.

Unfortunately Craig Lewis died in April, though his doctors say his artificial heart worked perfectly. Our thoughts are with Mrs. Lewis

via NPR





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