Nearly 23 million people worldwide are affected by heart failure every day, and the risk is known to rise with advancing age. Additionally, 5% of these patients have advanced diseases.
Additionally, many patients suffer from severe biventricular failure or other conditions like significant recent infarctions, uncontrollable arrhythmias, post-infarction ventricular septal defects, or complicated native valve disease. This makes it difficult to implant left ventricular assist devices. As the leading cause of death worldwide, cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are another factor.
Coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, rheumatic heart disease, and other conditions are included in the heart and blood vessel disorders known as CVDs. Heart attacks and strokes account for four out of every five CVD deaths, and one-third of these deaths happen before age 60. Additionally, not everyone needing a heart transplant can find a suitable donor heart in time due to the still-limited global supply of donor hearts.
A recent innovation that most benefits serious heart patients are the total artificial heart (TAH), a bionic heart. A total artificial heart (TAH) is a surgically implanted pump to provide circulation and replace diseased or damaged heart ventricles. A mechanical pump called an artificial heart is used to temporarily or permanently replace a damaged heart.
TAH is a pneumatically powered artificial heart that replaces the patient’s natural ventricles and valves as part of a mechanical circulatory support system. These artificial hearts have been used temporarily and permanently to replace failing human hearts. Patients have spent more than 4.5 years living on the TAH. The following are additional benefits:
- If a heart transplant is impossible, a bionic heart can permanently replace the human heart.
- TAH is easily reachable in times of need (no waitlist).
- Immunoglobulin levels or blood type are no restrictions.
- It is biocompatible with the body and does not require matching.
- TAH can be implanted in the patient’s body to save the human heart without needing anti-rejection drugs and waiting for a donor’s heart.
- The body’s immune system does not reject artificial hearts as their main benefit. This is because, unlike a donor’s heart, they are made of metals or plastic, which the body does not recognize as “foreign” and attacks similar to how it does with living tissue.
- Patients as young as nine and as old as 80 have received support from bionic hearts.
- Patients may live an additional month or even up to five years after receiving an artificial heart transplant.
- Since there aren’t enough donated real hearts, artificial hearts could take their place.
- Bleeding and infection are risks associated with surgery to fit an artificial heart.
- Artificial hearts don’t function as well as real ones because their components could break or the electric motor malfunction.
- Artificial hearts have less efficient blood flow, resulting in blood clots and strokes.
- The patient must take medications to thin their blood to prevent this from happening, which may cause bleeding issues if injured in an accident.
- Only one artificial heart has been given U.S. approval for use in people, and even then, its maker calls it a temporary solution. Artificial hearts have often been seen as temporary solutions to help ill patients while they wait for a human heart transplant.
- It can be used by patients who aren’t qualified for or awaiting a human transplant and is made to last up to five years. Some women and children should avoid it because it is larger than the average human heart.
- The heart battery must be recharged twice daily, or the heart will stop beating.
- The cost of producing each artificial heart ranges between £50,000 and £100,000 (pounds), requiring TAH maintenance.