Cambridge UK - Forty-year-old Matthew Green is the first British person to be fitted with a Total Artificial Heart, a device that was developed by Syncardia Systems Inc. from the Jarvik 7 Heart of the 1980s.
The temporary device, weighing only 160g, uses ventricles made from a polyurethane biomaterial, and has an external battery, compressed air piston pump and flexible blood sack - weighing 7 kg, all stored in a rucksack -- to pump blood around the body.
Green's operation was carried out at Papworth Hospital, Cambridge, following a heart muscle disease that results in arrhythmia, heart failure, and can cause sudden death.
Surgeons decided Green could not wait any longer for a suitable heart donor and fitted him with the TAH device.
The artificial heart is only a temporary measure -- described by Tucson, Arizona-based Syncardia as a 'bridge to transplant,' -- with a maximum life of about three years.
About 900 TAHs have been fitted worldwide since the device was approved for this use in the US, and Syncardia says this accounts for 210 years of patient life.