Harvard Heart Letter

The promise of a total artificial heart

  A growing number of people with failing hearts are being given total artificial hearts as they wait for donor hearts to become available. To implant one of these, surgeons remove the recipient's heart and replace it with a mechanical one. Its portable driver allows the wearer to move about freely, without being tethered to a stationary pump. The total artificial heart beats 140 times a minute, restoring normal blood pressure and allowing organs to recover. By the time a donor heart is found, total artificial heart recipients are healthier and better able to withstand transplant surgery.  
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