Self-contained artificial heart still functional after two weeks.

I’m sorry to put it that way, but we’ve been chasing this goal my entire life. You have to be very, very measured in your expectations:

Developed by French firm Carmat, this is an artificial heart designed for people whose hearts are so weak that they can no longer pump enough blood to sustain life. It was implanted in its first human patient on 18 December 2013 at the Georges Pompidou European Hospital in Paris.

The device replaces the real heart and is meant to keep patients going while they wait for a donor: Carmat claims it can be used for up to five years. Lithium-ion batteries outside the body keep it pumping, while sensors monitor and automatically control blood flow to adapt to the patient’s activity.

I mean, I want it to be the next step in our understanding of medicine and bionics, too. But two weeks isn’t nearly enough time to see if this thing works.

Via Instapundit.

Moe Lane

PS: It occurs to me that my reaction to this story may be colored by my childhood memories of Dr. Barney Clark, who did not have an easy time of it.  The artificial heart from Carmat mentioned in the article above would, if it works, give the patient a lot more mobility and a much better chance to avoid infection.


4 thoughts on “Self-contained artificial heart still functional after two weeks.”

  1. Ah, now I see why they were lauding this as something new. The initial news reports didn’t include the context of earlier artificial heart designs and I was left wondering “Wait, haven’t we had these for a while now?”

  2. Step in the right direction. Still too large and reliant on external power supply to be widely practical. As a short term bridge in some, it might help.

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