Jarvik-7, First Successful Artificial Heart

First used in 1982, this device assists the heart in pumping blood and is powered by a separate air compressor outside of the body. The artificial heart attaches directly to the natural one.

Named for its designer, Dr. Robert K. Jarvik, it was used as a permanent implant for five patients from 1982 to 1985. The longest living patient survived for 620 days after the implant.

After 1985, the Jarvik-7 was used to temporarily assist patients waiting for heart transplants. A version of this artificial heart, called the “CardioWest total artificial heart,” is still being manufactured.


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Made of polyurethane, Teflon, pyrolytic carbon, and Dacron