Ventricular Assist Device

By Lexi & Mattie

Why did Nasa make Ventricular Assist Device?

Nasa made a Ventricular Assist Device because there are millions of people that have heart problems or that need a heart transplant. However, the number of donor hearts available is extremely limited, with less than 3,000 total transplants performed each year in the United States. Fortunately, for people with such heart problems, a unique collaboration between NASA, Dr. Michael DeBakey, Dr. George Noon, and MicroMed Technology, Inc., has resulted in a lifesaving heart pump for patients awaiting transplants.

The Ventricular Assist Device was first invented for the space motor, but then doctors found it useful for their patients.

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How we use the Ventricular Assist Device today on Earth?

With an LVAD, blood is drawn out of the left ventricle, into the pump, then into the aorta, and on to the body. With an RVAD, blood is drawn out of the right ventricle, into the pump, then into the pulmonary artery, and on to the lungs to pick up oxygen. A paracorporeal VAD works by moving oxygen-rich blood either from the left atrium or from the ascending aorta to the rest of the body. Depending on the type of VAD, it will be attached either to an external console that is plugged into an outlet in the wall or to a battery pack that can be worn over the shoulder.

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