• Short Summary

    "Manfredo", a five-months-old bull calf, is helping scientists with their research into artificial hearts in West Berlin.

  • Description

    "Manfredo", a five-months-old bull calf, is helping scientists with their research into artificial hearts in West Berlin. On Friday (9 April), Manfredo had been living for 59 days with an artificial heart.

    The surgery was performed at the Clinicum Hospital of West Berlin's "Free University" by a research group of 25 people. Apart from the heart specialists, the group included veterinary surgeons and engineers.

    In the past, most of the surgery into heart disease has been connected with the replacement of heart valves rather than the complete heart. Over 7,000 people have had their faulty heart valves replaced with devices of plastic and titanium.

    Where there has been a total heart failure this has normally been replaced by another human heart. And in recent months there has even been surgery to transplant a second heart to the patients whose first heart is weak.

    The research into artificial heart surgery at the Clinicum Hospital has been going on for six years. But doctors feel that it will be many more years before a similar type of heart that Manfredo has can be transplanted to a human.

    SYNOPSIS: Manfredo -- a five months old bull calf -- is helping West Berlin scientists with their research. They are seeking hew ways of treating heart disease. Manfredo's own heart has been replaced by an artificial one which has kept him alive for the post two months.

    The heart specialists at West Berlin's Clinicum Hospital are trying to develop a pump that will completely replace faulty hearts. Their work with engineers and, in the case of Manfredo, with veterinary surgeons, has lasted for six years.

    In the past, faulty hearts have been replaced by another human one. But this has many disadvantages -- finding a suitable donor, getting permission to use the heart. It's for this reason that the Clinicum scientists are seeking a mechanical alternative.

    The scientists feel that they have a long way to go though. It will be many years, they think, before humans are using a similar heart to Manfredo's.

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    Reuters - Including Visnews
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