In a recent decision, the US FDA has approved the implantation of an artificial mechanical heart in humans. Robert Tools received the first completely self-contained artificial heart transplant, in a surgery done by University of Louisville doctors at Jewish Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky. It is called the AbioCor Implantable Replacement Heart.
Cardiologists in India feel that it would soon be available to Indians who need an immediate heart transplant and they also feel that, it is a great leap in terms of medical science.
A thoracic unit (the pump), weighing about 900 grams will cost Rs 2 lakhs. The thoracic unit consists of the artificial ventricles, which contain their corresponding valves, and a motor-driven hydraulic pumping system.
An internal rechargeable battery, which is an emergency battery, is continually charged by the external power source. The internal battery can provide up to 20 minutes of operation, while disconnected from the main battery pack.
An electronics package is implanted in the patient’s abdominal area. It monitors and controls the pumping speed of the artificial heart.
Though the experts feel that it is pathbreaking research but still it cannot be fitted into women because it needs a lot of space in the chest.
Till now, this artificial heart has been transplanted in 14 people and the average lifespan that a person gains is about five months. The other prerequisites to qualify for a artificial heart is that one has no hope of a proper transplant if the patient has only a month to live.