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May 11th

Born 11 May 1946.
Robert Koffler Jarvik is an American surgeon and inventor who invented the Jarvik-7, the first artificial heart used as a permanent implant in a human. On 2 Dec 1982, terminally ill cardiac patient Barney Clark, was the first to have his heart replaced with a Jarvik-7. The surgeon was William C. DeVries. The aluminum and plastic device replaced the two lower chambers (ventricles) of his natural heart. Two rubber diaphragms acted to pump blood, powered by hoses to an external compressor. Oxygenation occurred naturally in the patient’s lungs. After 112 days, Clark died from physical complications caused by the implant. Several more patients had no better results. The Jarvik-7 problems remained unsolved and its permanent use was abandoned.

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