First permanent artificial heart to beat in Spain

LAST UPDATED: 25 Aug, 2011 @ 09:00
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First permanent artificial heart to beat in Spain

By Emily Batty-Olivera

A 67-year-old man has become the first person in Spain to receive a permanent artificial heart.

Pedro Garcia – who originally suffered a heart-attack in the mid 1990’s – has now left the hospital in Madrid and returned home .

This incident exerted a great deal of strain upon the heart and along with other health conditions, meant he was unable to have a regular heart transplant.

Instead, a titanium device has now been implanted into his body which acts much like a real heart, sending the blood from his left ventricle to his aorta.

There is a cable that comes outside of his body in order to be connected to a control unit which contains two rechargeable batteries lasting around 12 hours.

The titanium heart itself is a permanent solution, although a report states that in eight to 10 years the electric pump will need changing.

Thousands of patients in the US and UK have also undergone the treatment but it is a great development in Spanish surgery.

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