Mechanical heart pump, artwork

Mechanical heart pump, artwork

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This image is part of the feature B B C

Credit: HENNING DALHOFF / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Mechanical heart pump. Artwork of a man with a left ventricular assist device (LVAD, silver). This is battery-powered (dark grey shoulder packs) and controlled by an external device (white). The left ventricle is the main pumping chamber of the heart, responsible for the circulation of oxygenated blood through the body. When it stops working properly, an LVAD is implanted to assist blood circulation. The device is usually only a temporary aid, until a heart donor is found as a replacement. This LVAD is the HeartMate II, which pumps blood continuously, unlike other LVADs that use a pulse-like action to mimic the heart. It was commercially approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in April 2008.

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