Artificial heart chronology: 1935 to 1985

Here are the key events to date in man's efforts to replace ailing hearts: 1935 Charles A. Lindbergh, better known for making first solo flight across Atlantic Ocean, and French biologist Alexis Carrel experiment with perfusion pump to keep organ live outside of body. Ridiculed as 'glass heart' and 'robot heart.' 1953 Heart-lung machine is developed to maintain circulation and to aerate blood while a heart is being repaired or removed. 1957 Dr. Willem Kolff, then of the Cleveland Clinic, conducts first implantation of artificial heart in the chests of dogs. One survived 90 minutes. 1967 Dec. 3 -- World's first successful human heart transplant operation is performed Dec. 3, 1967, by Dr. Christiaan N. Barnard and a team of South African surgeons. The patient died after 18 days. 1969 In the first use of an artificial heart in humans, Dr. Denton Cooley in Houston implants an artificial heart on an emergency basis in a 47-year-old man who could not be weaned from a heart-lung machine. The heart supported the man for 64 hours until a donor heart was transplanted. The patient died 32 hours later of pneumonia. 1975 Drs. John Norman at the Texas Heart Institute in Houston and William Bernhard of Children's Hospital Medical Center in Boston implant first single-chamber blood pumps designed to assist the natural heart following surgery. More than 200 have since been used around the world. 1981 Cooley implants an artificial heart in a young Dutchman whose heart failed following a triple bypass operation.


The machine kept bus driver Willebrordus A. Meuffels, 36, alive 27 hours until a donor heart could be transplanted. He died 7 days later.


Dr. William DeVries, of the University of Utah Medical Center, receives Food and Drug Administration approval to implant an experimental Jarvik-7 artificial heart in a human on a permanent basis. 1982 Nov. 27 -- Seattle dentist Barney Clark's heart begins to fail rapidly while at home in Seattle suburb. He called Dr. William DeVries and said he was willing to have the artificial implant. Clark was admitted to medical center two days later.

Dec. 1 -- Clark's heart begins beating irregularly and he is rushed into surgery early. Surgery begins at 10:30 p.m. MST.

Dec. 2 -- DeVries removes Clark's heart and implants the artificial pump in surgery that continued through the night. A complication developed when the left ventricle of the artificial heart did not pump properly. It was taken out, reinserted twice and finally replaced with a spare. The artificial heart took over at 4:09 a.m. MST.

Dec. 14 -- Clark is rushed back to surgery after his blood pressure suddenly dropped at 9:45 a.m. MST. Doctors reopened his chest and replaced the left ventricle, where a valve malfunctioned. A ring holding in the valve developed a fracture.


March 23 -- At 12:15 p.m. (MST), Clark suffers a sudden drop in cardiac output. He is moved back into intensive care at 4 p.m. and, at 10:02 p.m., he died of circulatory collapse and multi-organ system failure. 1984 July 31 -- Humana Inc. announces DeVries has decided to join the staff of Humana Heart Institute International in Louisville, Ky.

Oct. 26 -- The heart of a baboon is transplanted into an infant called Baby Fae at the Loma Linda University Medical Center in California. The child died 20 days later.

Nov. 8 -- The FDA gives DeVries approval to implant six Jarvik-7's at Humana Hospital Audubon.

Nov. 22 -- William J. Schroeder, 52, a retired munitions inspector from Jaspar, Ind., receives second permanent artificial heart during a 6 -hour operation. He is rushed back to surgery that night so doctors could correct excessive chest bleeding.

Nov. 30 -- Schroeder becomes first person to have his artificial heart supported by a portable, should-slung air compressor drive unit.

Dec. 13 -- Schroeder suffers a stroke while eating dinner with his wife. Doctors unsure of the cause of the stroke, but DeVries said it probably was caused by a blood clot from the artificial heart.



Feb. 17 -- Murray Haydon, 58, a retired Louisville auto worker, receives a mechanical heart in 3 hours of surgery at Humana Hospital Audubon.

March 2 -- Haydon is returned to surgery to correct bleeding around the artificial heart.

March 6 -- Thomas Creighton, 33, an auto mechanic from Tucson, Ariz., receives an unauthorized artificial heart after a newly transplanted heart fails at the University of Arizona Medical Center.

The mechanical heart, developed by a dentist in Phoenix, supports Creighton 11 hours until a second donor heart can be transplanted. Creighton died 35 hours after receiving second transplant. His surgeon, Dr. Jack Copeland, said excess fluid in his lungs caused the death.

March 9 -- Schroeder takes ride in special van; becomes first artificial heart patient to leave hospital grounds.

March 14 -- Dr. William Pierce of Pennsylvania State University's Hershey Medical Center receives FDA permission to implant six artificial hearts made at Hershey as a temporary measure to sustain patients until heart transplants become available.

March 28 -- Haydon undergoes tracheotomy to move respirator aiding his breathing from mouth to windpipe to allow him comfort in eating, drinking and speaking.

April 6 -- Schroeder discharged from hospital to 'halfway house' across the street, becomes first artificial heart patient to live outside confines of a hospital.


April 7 -- Leif Stenberg, 52, becomes world's fourth recipient of permanent artificial heart after implant of Jarvik-7 at Stockholm, Sweden's Karolinska Hospital.

April 14 -- Jack C. Burcham, 62, of Le Roy, Ill., becomes world's fifth and oldest recipient of permanent artificial heart implant.

April 15 -- Burcham undergoes second operation to stem bleeding from tiny holes left by stitches made to sew in his plastic and metal heart.

April 24 -- Burcham, his kidney's failing, is placed on dialysis machine. He dies after a jelly-like blood clot forms in the remaining portion of his natural heart, triggering compression on his lungs.

May 6 -- Exactly one month after his release, Schroeder is moved back into the hospital's coronary care unit after tests show he has suffered a brain hemorrhage.

July 19 -- Schroeder's sons take him out for the evening to watch a Louisville Redbirds minor-league baseball game at Cardinal Stadium.

Aug. 4 -- Schroeder, still hospitalized but reported improving, makes long-awaited 160-mile round-trip to visit his hometown of Jasper, Ind.

Aug. 29 -- Michael Drummond, 25, of Phoenix, a food store manager, becomes the ninth recipient of an artificial heart and the sixth to get the Jarvik-7 model when his condition deteriorates rapidly and no human heart can be found.


Dr. Jack Copeland, who implanted the unapproved 'Phoenix Heart,' heads the surgical team that implants the Jarvik-7 in Drummond as a temporary life-saving measure.

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