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Milestones For Artificial Hearts

January 04, 1987

1937: Soviet scientists implant the first artificial heart in a dog.

1957: Dr. Willem Kolff, in Cleveland, does the first dog implant in the Western world.

1960s: Numerous artificial hearts developed and implanted in calves and sheep, including a silicone rubber heart in Utah and a Teflon-coated steel heart in Cleveland.

1965: U.S. government begins funding artificial heart research, hoping for human implantation by 1970.

1967: Dr. Christiaan Barnard transplants the first human heart. The patient lives 18 days.

1968: National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute contracts with three companies to develop nuclear-powered hearts.

1969: Dr. Denton Cooley of the Texas Heart Institute implants the first temporary artificial heart. It sustains the patient 65 hours until a human heart transplant.

1970s: Federal research funding shifts from the total artificial heart to ventricular assist devices.

1979: Robert Jarvik's Jarvik 7 keeps a calf alive a record 221 days.

1980: Dr. Norman Shumway's pioneering of the anti-rejection drug, cyclosporine, opens the door to the proliferation of successful heart transplantation.

1981: Cooley implants another temporary artificial heart, without approval of FDA, as required under recently enacted law.

1982: Dr. William DeVries implants the first permanent artificial heart in Dr. Barney Clark. Clark lives 112 days.

1984-5: DeVries does three more artificial heart implants in Louisville.

1985-6: Proliferation of artificial heart as a bridge to transplant.

Aug. 6, 1986: William J. Schroeder, the longest-living permanent artificial heart recipient, dies after a fourth stroke.

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