Artificial heart from The Jarvik Artificial Heart System, donated by The Papworth Hospital, c1980. Non clinical use only, not for implant.
Invented in the 1970s by Robert Jarvik (b. 1946), an American physician, this artificial heart was intended to sustain critically ill heart patients in hospital while they were awaiting heart transplants. The plastic and Velcro model replicated the lower two chambers of the heart and was powered by an external compressor.
The first artificial heart was implanted into a patient in December 1982. The patient survived for 112 days. This example was donated to the Science Museum’s collections by the Papworth Hospital, the largest cardiothoracic hospital in the country and the main centre in the United Kingdom for heart and lung transplants.