Patient alive and kicking, but has no pulse

No pulseTechnically speaking, a patient is pronounced dead if he has no pulse, but now there's an exception. A Canadian is believed to be the only man alive without a pulse after his heart failed and a new silent pump was embedded in his chest to keep blood flowing through his veins.

The Quebec man underwent surgery on November 23 after suffering severe heart failure due to a heart attack months earlier, Ian Popple, a spokesman for McGill University Health Centre in Montreal, said.

Due to other medical conditions, the 65-year-old patient was deemed an unsuitable candidate for a transplant, doctors said.

So, a mechanical heart was implanted as a last resort, as part of ongoing North American clinical trials of the product.

However, an "interesting feature'' of the novel device was that it provided a continuous flow of blood, so the patient had no pulse, said Mr Popple.

Surgeon Renzo Cecere said his patient was "the only individual living in Canada without a pulse and without a measurable blood pressure".

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