A PENCIL-SIZED HEART PUMP: The Impella 5.0 weighs just eight grams, but can pump about 75 percent as much blood as a healthy heart. It is intended to allow the heart to rest for a short time following cardiac surgery. The pump assists the left ventricle, pumping up to 5 liters of blood per minute. Doctors insert the pump by threading it from through blood vessels from an incision in the leg to the heart.
THE AMAZING HEART: The heart pumps 5.6 liters of blood through the entire body in roughly 20 seconds; each day your blood travels some 12,000 miles, and your heart beats about 100,000 times. This delivers oxygen and other essential nutrients to the body's cells and organs.
WHAT CAUSES HEART ATTACKS: Heart attack is the leading cause of death in North and South America and in Europe. It is usually the result of prolonged hardening and narrowing of the arteries that direct blood into the heart. When blood vessels are healthy, oxygen-rich blood flows easily to all the muscles and organs of the body. But if they become clogged by the buildup of fatty deposits on vessel walls, blood can be cut off, killing heart muscle cells. This is called coronary heart disease, and it can lead to heart attacks or strokes. Symptoms of a heart attack include a squeezing discomfort in the center of the chest, pain or tingling in the left arm, shortness of breath, and sometimes a cold sweat, nausea, or dizziness.