In today's feel good story, doctors in Italy successfully implanted this lil titanium pump into the chest of a 16-month old boy to act as his heart until a donor heart was found. Just don't go thinking about how you find another 16-month old heart for transplant, because I just did and now I've got the sads :(
The doctors at Rome's Bambino Gesu hospital said the operation was carried out last month and made public this week. The baby, whose identity has not been disclosed, was kept alive for 13 days before the transplant and is now doing well.
The tiny titanium pump weighs only 11 grams and can handle a blood flow of 1.5 liters a minute. An artificial heart for adults weighs 900 grams.
"This is a milestone," surgeon Antonio Amodeo told Reuters television, adding that while the device was now used as bridge leading to a transplant, in the future it could be permanent.
Hoho -- science used for good for a change! Also, I doubt it's actually the world's smallest artificial heart, just the world's smallest artificial heart for a human. Because I guarantee there's some scientist out there who's made an artificial heart for a mouse before. "Stop wasting your time and just feed the damn thing to a snake," I imagine his colleagues told him.
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