Dr. Michael deBakey, the famed surgeon, and a team of doctors inserted an artificial plastic?
Dr. Michael deBakey, the famed surgeon, and a team of doctors inserted an artificial plastic heart into a terminal cardiac patient in a history making operation in Houston, Texas. The night before the operation (Wednesday, April 20), the surgical team ran through its procedures in a rehearsal for the operation.
The new device is the product of a four and one half million dollar research program. It is basically a grape-fruit sized pump driven by compressed air. The air comes from a compressor by the patient's bedside. The device may be easily disconnected and easily connected up again should it become necessary. The device is fastened to the outside of the patient's chest.
The patient was suffering from mitral insufficiency, meaning that the valve between the upper and lower chambers of the left side of his heart was not operating. The artificial heart was used to bypass the entire left side of the heart while the damage was repaired. It will remain hooked up until the heart has mended.
The patient, Marcel DeRudder, is 65. He has suffered from a chronic heart condition for 25 years, and was dying when the operation began.
Dr. deBakey forecast future developments of the device, permitting it to be completely installed inside the chest free of external power sources.