Medicine: Plug-In Heart Pump

Doctors all too often perform open-heart surgery that is technically perfect only to have the patient die soon after the operation, because his previously weakened heart cannot bear the added burden of surgical shock. To ease the load on ailing hearts, doctors have for several years used implantable balloon pumps (TIME, Aug. 23, 1971) and other devices that are designed to be removed surgically after recovery. A system developed at Manhattan's Mount Sinai Medical Center carries this heart-assist technology a significant step forward. Their pump not only provides a postoperative boost but can be connected again without major surgery if the...

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