Kochi: In news that can bring in cheer for patients suffering from severe heart diseases in India, a doctor from India has become the first surgeon in the country to undergo advanced training in `artificial heart` technology.
Dr M K Moosa Kunhi, senior consultant and heart surgeon, told PTI that the training was imparted by US-based organisation `Thorotec` which he said does "lot of research" on artifical heart.
Dr Moosa said there were over 2 crore patients in the country suffering from end stage heart ailments while world over there were 5 crore such patients.
Battery operated `artificial heart`, made of titanium and other metals, is implanted on the patient suffering from severe heart failure -- (stage iii, stage iv) giving them a new lease of life, Dr Moosa, who returned to India yesterday after the training from US, said.
Dr Moosa said this treatment was available only in United States and Europe and cost around 30,000 euros and USD 70,000. In India, the cost would work out to between Rs 30 lakh to Rs 40 lakh, he said. "Now, we have to bring this technology to India", he added.
The artifical heart, which is implanted inside the chest just below the patient`s damaged heart, works on the principle of `linear axial flow` and weighs 250 to 300 grams. It has a rotar that would rotate upto 10,000 times per minute and pump blood upto 10 litres a minute, he said.
Adding that the artificial heart works on recharged batteries, he said one battery would last up to 15 hours after which another battery can be attached. Six batteries would be given to the patient which can be recharged. The patient would need two batteries a day, he said.
Another battery with capacity for half an hour emergency back up would be connected to the machine all the time and would get recharged from the already charged battery, he said.
The patient would be given specially made jackets to place the batteries in pouches.
A computerised module would be on the patient`s waist from which a cable would go to the artificial heart. One end of the artifical heart would be connected to the damaged heart and the other end to the major artery of the body `aorta`, Dr Moosa said, adding depending on the patient`s requirement, the heart would pump the required blood.
Dr Moosa said he was making efforts to bring the technology to India. Efforts would be made to develop artificial hearts in India at much cheaper rates of about Rs 5 lakh, he said.
Dr Moosa said that with the new technology, the life spans of patients with "completely damaged hearts" can be increased to 10 years or more from 6 months to one-two years.