Thursday, April 12, 2007
Medical Reports: Hi-Tech Heart
Can you imagine heart attack victims walking around without a pulse? Well, it's no longer just a thought. Tonight, 7's Richard Lemus shows us a hi-tech heart that's giving hope to "pulse-less" patients nationwide.
WSVN -- Ed Layton doesn't have a pulse, but he's living proof of a hi-tech heart that's bringing back life to many heart attack victims.
Ed Layton: "I just grabbed my chest. Sirens."
For the last 10 years he walked nine miles a day delivering mail. Now he's just happy to get his own.
Ed Layton: "I was dying. The heart attack blew a hole in my heart."
Dr. Benjamin Sun: "It was big enough that it did so much damage to his heart that we weren't going to bring it back."
But Ohio State Chief Cardiothoracic Surgeon Benjamin Sun is bringing back life to Ed.
Ed Layton: "I have no pulse. You can't feel a pulse."
That's because of this hi-tech heart. It weighs seven pounds and pumps blood 24 hours a day, just like a real heart. Most people can't even tell they have one.
Dr. Benjamin Sun: "The neat thing is that they are very small. They are virtually silent."
The Temporary, Total Artificial Heart, or TAH-t, consists of two ventricles connected to the pulmonary artery and aorta.
An air hose passes through each, forcing blood to circulate throughout the body. It can last up to three years.
Dr. Benjamin Sun: "They're constantly spilling, like a high-speed rotor."
The pump works with a battery pack outside the body.
Ed Layton: "These are the batteries."
And it's portable, so patients don't have to stay in the hospital.
Dr. Benjamin Sun: "It's an athlete, the heart, which has been damaged, so we rest it. It's like putting it on the couch, so it gets better."
Ed is now happy, doing everyday chores he used to take for granted.
Ed Layton: "I'm out of the hospital, and I survived what you call the 'window-maker.'"
Richard Lemus: "The Temporary, Total Artificial Heart can help most patients waiting for a heart transplant or those who are too ill to have one. So far no hospitals in Florida are using it, though it is available in other parts of the U.S., Canada and Europe.
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