A hole between the right and left atrium is a defect called Atrial Septal Defect. Its symptoms are: Fatigue, lung complications and infections, shortness of breath, heart murmurs, lack of appetite, skipped heart beats or heart palpitations, swelling of feet or abdomen, stroke and bluish skin color. A hole between the right and left ventricles is a defect known as Ventricular Septal Defect. Its symptoms are: Paleness, difficulty in breathing, fast heart rate, failure to gain weight and cyanosis. The symptoms between ASD and VSD are similar. This is because in both cases the septum has a hole. Instead of the oxygen-rich blood being pumped into the aorta, it flows back into the right ventricle. Therefore, oxygenated blood in the left side of the heart gets mixed with deoxygenated blood in the right side of the heart. After mixing, blood that is pumped and transported to the body has less oxygen than required for body organs to function efficiently (Nakamura, 2009).
An artificial heart is a mechanical device that is connected to the heart to replace or help a failing heart. The two types of mechanical hearts are Ventricular Assist Device, VAD and Total Artificial Heart, TAH. The three essential characteristics that an artificial heart must have are as follows: a) A mechanism to push blood forward. Artificial hearts are powered by either electricity or compressed air. A thin cable links the pumping chamber to a console that controls the pump function. The console can be a large box that is put beside the patient or a portable one worn for more portability. b) A left ventricle that pumps the blood to the lungs after every heart beat. c) A porting valve which closes and opens to allow for blood to move from the left atrium into the aorta. d) A battery. It can be either internally implanted in the patient’s abdomen or externally worn around the waist (Goldstein & Oz, 2000).
Goldstein, D., & Oz, M. (2000). Cardiac Assist Devices. Hoboken: Wiley Publishing.
Nakamura, H. (2009). Congenital Heart Defects: Etiology, Diagnosis and Treatment. New York: Nova Science Publishers.