Artificial heart


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The heart begins to beat 4 weeks after conception & doesn’t stop until death. An adult heart can pump up to 2,000 gallons of blood each day which is roughly 5 quarts of blood a minute. It is capable of beating over 100,000 times a day. It will beat over 2.5 billion times in the average life span of 70 years . The heart consists of 4 chambers a right & left atrium as well as a right & left ventricles Both the right and left atrium hold about 3.5 tablespoons of blood where the right ventricle can hold about a quarter cup of blood. The left atrium is about three times thicker than the right. Heart Function: When the heart is at rest the right atria is filled with oxygen free blood returning from the body. While the left atrium receives oxygen rich blood from the lungs. After the atria fill an electrical impulse causes them to contract forcing open valves that lead to the ventricles. The same electrical impulse causes the ventricles to contract about a tenth of a second later pushing the blood through another set of valves that lead to the lungs and the rest of the body. The ventricle relax causing the valves to snap shut which causes the dub sound in the heartbeat. This allows the atria to fill with blood and the process repeats itself.

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The Jarvik-7 design incorporates two heart pumps that are connected to a power console . Each pump is small enough to be implanted into the void that was left behind from the extraction. Both pumps receive power from a large external console . The console pushes air through the tubing . Air enters inside the pump and is expelled through a series of thin flexible diaphragms . The doctors monitor the patients cardiac output and heart rate from a power console a seven feet away from where the patient rests.

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The heart pump is implanted by surgeons where the ventricles were removed. The channels that connect naturally to the ventricles are sewn into artificial cuffs that are connected to the heart. There are two independent hydraulic motors are embedded in the heart. One motor is used to maintain a constant pumping action. The other motor is responsible for controlling the motion of the four heart valves. An electrical coil is implanted in the abdomen area to allow for recharging across the skin. A battery pack that can be worn by the patient supplies the device with power throughout the day. There is also an internal battery which allows for the patient to bath themselves. The artificial heart is made with very smooth plastics which allows for constant motion of blood cells. This is important because any blood that stops on the surface material has a high potential of clotting.

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