Doctors from the Texas Heart Institute have successfully replaced a patient’s heart with a device that keeps the blood flowing, thereby allowing him to live without a detectable heartbeat or even a pulse. Here’s how it works:
The turbine-like device, that are simple whirling rotors, developed by the doctors does not beat like a heart, rather provides a ‘continuous flow’ like a garden hose.
Craig Lewis was a 55-year-old, dying from amyloidosis, which causes a build-up of abnormal proteins. The proteins clog the organs so much that they stop working, according to NPR.
But after the operation, with the ‘machine’ as his heart’s replacement, Lewis’ blood continued to spin and move through his body.
However, when doctors put a stethoscope to his chest, no heartbeat or pulse can be heard (only a ‘humming’ sound)—which “by all criteria that we conventionally use to analyze patients”, Doctor Cohn said, he is dead.
This is proof that “human physiology can be supported without a pulse”.
With all the talk of replacing human organs with those of an animal and electronic hearts, it’s surprising that medical researchers overlooked taking a trip to the plumbing section of the hardware store for replacement parts!