Daily News | Sipokazi FokaziAn “artificial heart” the size of a golf ball is keeping a SA businessman alive while he waits for a donor heart.
The revolutionary heart pump was implanted into 51-year-old Willie Koetzee, who was so ill that doctors didn’t hold out much hope for him.
Koetzee was admitted to the Netcare Christiaan Barnard Hospital at the beginning of last month with cardimyopathy – a condition in which the heart becomes weakened and enlarged and cannot pump blood efficiently.
His heart deteriorated to the point where it retained only 3.5 percent of its function and could pump less than a third of the five litres of blood that a healthy heart pumps.
The businessman, from Heidelberg in Gauteng, desperately needed a heart transplant and was put on an emergency organ donor list, but could not find a donor.
But he has been helped, thanks to a heart pump called the HeartWare Ventricular Assist System (HVAD). The small device is implanted into the heart and is designed to restore a normal blood flow into and out of the heart. It keeps the patient well while awaiting a heart transplant.
It draws the oxygenated blood from the left ventricle of the heart and propels it into the aorta for distribution into the body. The right ventricle of the heart is responsible for pumping deoxygenated blood into the lungs, where it is oxygenated.
Read more: http://www.iol.co.za/dailynews/lifestyle/my-part-time-heart-1.1304655