• Question: has any person lived half a heart with out having any problem and do you think anyone can do it?

    Asked by candy90090 to David, James, Mike, Suze, Will on 21 Jun 2011.
    • Photo: Mike Dodd

      Mike Dodd answered on 21 Jun 2011:

      Hey Candy, unfortunately you can’t live with half a heart. You need both sides of your heart to be able to live. The right pumps blood to your lungs, whilst the left pumps the blood to the rest of your body.

      Zebrafish are an interesting animals, as they can live with out 20% of their heart. After a few weeks this removed part of the heart will regrow

    • Photo: William Eborall

      William Eborall answered on 21 Jun 2011:

      Hi candy. As Mike says no one can live with half a heart, but progress is being made to make an artificial heart. At the moment though these are still bigger than a normal heart and need to be connected to a power supply outside of the body as a good enough battery can’t be made yet.

    • Photo: Suze Kundu

      Suze Kundu answered on 21 Jun 2011:

      Did you read about the guy that recently had two small turbines fitted inside his chest, instead of fixing or replacing his heart? Unfortunately he was already very ill, and died a month later due to problems with his other organs, but he was the first human ever to receive the turbine implant. These turbines just whooshed blood around his body, and from that viewpoint he was fine. It was the other stuff that eventually killed him.

      Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that he didn’t have any real heart that was beating, and therefore had NO PULSE for the month that he was alive after the turbines were fitted, so that’s basically having NO beating heart. No heart, and he was still alive. Science is amazing for finding solutions like this. Treating the body like a machine, and working out the answers to the many problems that this machine of ours can encounter!