610 thousand people die every year from heart disease that’s, one in every four deaths at any. Given time there’s up to four thousand people waiting for a heart transplant and 20 people die each day waiting for a heart transplant.
The problem with heart transplants is, of course, somebody has to die for you to get one, and generally people are trying to avoid that, plus they have to die in a way that their heart is still healthy.
Usually, when they’re young and suddenly and tragically and I guess thankfully, that doesn’t happen that often so what these patients need is a bridge some way of getting their blood pumping through their bodies until a new heart comes available, Enter the artificial heart now, arguably, the first artificial hearts were the heart-lung machines that cut people alive during open-heart surgeries.
These are also called cardiopulmonary bypass machines. Now these have their own fascinating story, but what’s? Also interesting about these is that they’re, not just a heart machine. It’s, not just something that pumps the blood.
They also have two the blood – and this came with a whole lot of trial and error. Everything from kind of blending the blood and mixing it with the air to literally putting it inside of balloons and shaking it.
The problem is, all of these methods beat up the blood, pretty bad blood turns out is actually pretty fragile, and this can lead to a lot of clotting problems, clotting problems that can lead to strokes and, ironically, heart attacks.
Now, eventually, this technology settled on sort of passing the blood through a membrane and oxygenated membrane, so it works almost the same as the AVO eye in our lungs. But this isn’t like a long-term solution for somebody that’s.
Waiting for a transplant, this is the kind of thing that would be done over a few hours. You know, while somebody was getting the transplant, it was actually 1982 before the first patient actually received an artificial heart, and this was a retired dentist named Barney Clark.
The heart was called the Jarvis 7 and it made the inventor Robert Jarvis a household name. That was big-time news all over the country. Unfortunately, barney only survived for about 112 days, but the technology progressed, things got better and the second guy who received artificial heart actually lived for 600 days today.
The gold standard for artificial hearts is the total artificial heart by a company called CIN cardia. The heart itself is really just a couple of bladders that take the place of the left and right ventricle and inside each bladder is a fluid pocket that fills and pumps.
The blood up into the atriums, the inside part, that actually interacts with the blood, is made out of cow heart tissue, and this prevents the body from rejecting it. The wall itself is made out of polyurethane, and this fluid is pumped in through a couple of tubes that exit the body through the abdomen and attach to a backpack that the patient wears.
This backpack contains the pump and the batteries necessary to keep this thing going and the battery lasts for about six hours. Each. You think keeping your phone charged gives you anxiety now. Obviously, this is not as good as having a real, healthy heart where you don & # 39.
T have wires coming out of your gut, but it is a good temporary solution that can kind of get people freedom, while they’re waiting for a real heart to come along now. Another option, which is even weirder in some ways it’s, called the ventricular assist device or VAD for people who have diminished capacity and just one of their ventricles, and this is usually the left ventricle.
So it’s often called the LVAD, but this has an interesting side effect and that the people who have this have no pulse yeah. It actually produces a continuous flow of blood through past the ventricle into the aorta.
So there’s. No, there’s, no pump action, it’s, just this constant flow, so their veins don’t pulse there’s; no thumping there’s; no throbbing it’s. Just continuous flow of blood kind of weird, but this is a lot simpler.
It does still have chords that have to come out of your body into a backpack device, but the backpack is a lot smaller, so it gives a whole lot more freedom to the people who have that. In fact, great big story did a really cool article about a fitness model.
Who has one of these? You seem like running on the treadmill of the gym and everything the other day. I skipped the gym because my knee, but hey that’s, not fair. He’s, got like continuous blood flowing and oxygenating his body, and my head’s.
It’s like pumping action to it. I can’t compete with that. I mean that’s, just cheating, just like Oscar Pistorius, who was the first amputee to compete in the Olympic Games like the regular Olympic Games and they used carbon-fiber legs, and some people complain that he had an unfair advantage because his legs weighed less And the carbon fiber gave him a springier step.
They thought it wasn’t fair. Regardless he became a hero to amputees and disabled people all around the world and till he killed his girlfriend. But seriously, though, could we make an artificial heart that’s, so good that it actually gives somebody an unfair advantage and athletic competition? Can we get to the point that artificial organs are more than just a temporary replacement or a band-aid solution, but an actual improvement? We’re.
Nowhere near that at the moment. In fact, the heart is kind of one of the only organs that we’ve been able to create an artificial version of, and it just kind of, barely gets us by. Perhaps our best bet right now is to grow clone organs using stem cells.
I covered this in a previous article on cloning, but the idea of being able to just grow a new organ from your own stem cells and just replace it as you need, is kind of the holy grail of medicine, but would have beyond cloning organs.
We can actually use gene editing to improve on these organs, basically turn them into biological machines that can actually improve the functions of our bodies. That would be awesome, and it kind of gives me hope that maybe someday, we could do the whole living and definitely thing.