HENNING DALHOFF / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY HENNING DALHOFF / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Mechanical heart pump. Artwork of a man with a left ventricular assist device (LVAD, silver). It is controlled by an external device, carried in the grey bag with the LVAD's battery. 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 VentrAssist, which was designed in 2001 and is now being clinically trialled (as of June 2008) as a permanent alternative to heart transplants.
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