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Man Given Britain's 1st Artificial Heart

November 03, 1986|Associated Press

HUNTINGDON, England — A 40-year-old man dying of heart failure received Britain's first artificial heart on Sunday to keep him alive until a human donor organ can be found, a hospital spokesman said.

"The patient is reported to be stable and his immediate postoperative condition is satisfactory," said John Edwards, spokesman for Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire, north of London.

The man, who was not identified, is the first person in Britain to receive a completely artificial heart. He was admitted to the hospital Friday in critical condition, Edwards said.

Two doctors, Terence English and Francis Wells, implanted the Jarvik artificial heart in an operation that lasted five hours.

"This surgical procedure is regarded as a temporary measure, a bridging operation, to support a dying patient until a suitable donor heart becomes available," Edwards said.

The heart, named after designer Robert Jarvik, is made of plastic with some metal. It weighs only 10 ounces but must be powered most of the time by a bulky air compressor.

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