Artificial lung technology moves forward

Oct. 25, 2007 at 12:13 AM
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BALTIMORE, Oct. 25 (UPI) -- Researchers are working to develop artificial lungs that are mobile enough for patients to use at home.

Doctors say they are inspired by the case of a man in Maryland who survived 107 days on an artificial lung designed 30-years-ago, the Baltimore Sun said Wednesday.

While 1,405 people in the United States received new lungs last year, 254 died awaiting them, the newspaper said.

Dr. Bartley P. Griffith, chief of cardiac surgery and director of heart and lung transplantation at the University of Maryland Medical Center, secured a five-year, $3.7 million National Institutes of Health grant last spring to design portable devices to serve lung patients the way portable heart pumps now serve many cardiac patients.

The artificial lung in use today is about the size of a dishwasher, forcing patients to be in bed 24 hours a day. The new device would be about the size of a compact disc player, with a rolling case to carry a battery pack, the newspaper said. Researchers in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Kentucky are also working on new artificial lungs.

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