• Question: Would it ever be possible to create a machine heart to replace your original heart?

    Asked by Mattyr17 to Raashid on 12 Mar 2019.
    • Photo: Raashid Ali

      Raashid Ali answered on 12 Mar 2019:

      There are machines out there at the moment that are used on many patients to support their heart.

      The most common or most known is the pacemaker, this is a small machine which sits in a pouch under the skin on the chest and would provide electric shocks to patients to help get the heart back into the normal rhythm if their heart is not beating correctly.

      Another interesting machine that supports the heart is the VAD, (ventricular assist device). This acts as the ventricle of the heart and can be placed either in the right or left ventricles, it is used to provide the pumping function of the ventricles.

      Also there is cardiopulmonary bypass this is a technique in which a machine temporarily takes over the function of the heart and lungs during surgery, it keeps the circulation of blood and the oxygen in the patient’s body. The pump itself is sometimes called the heart–lung machine or the pump.