IELTS READING LEVEL 5.5 – Pumping Up the Heart

Pumping Up The Heart

Make a fist with one of your hands. Your fist is about the size of your heart.

Your heart beats between 85 and 90 times per minute. It pumps about 5 quarts of blood through your body’s 60,000 miles of blood vessels in one minute!

Even though the heart is a powerful muscle, many people’s hearts don’t work properly. A study by Dr. Eric Rose indicates that a mechanical pump might help many of those patients.

 

Pump May Save Lives

Some people’s heart muscles are so weak that the heart can’t pump enough blood through the body. That condition is called heart failure, and it can be deadly.

Leigh Haeger

The drawing shows some parts of the heart. Look up what each part does.

 

A report from the American Heart Association says about a little more than 5 million Americans suffered from heart failure in 2013. Another report says that about 400,000 Americans develop it each year.

Powerful drugs or a heart transplant can help many people who suffer from heart failure. But the drugs don’t always work, and heart transplants are risky.

For years, doctors have inserted a mechanical pump in the bodies of some patients who were waiting for a heart transplant. The pump helped the heart do its job.

The study by Dr. Rose shows that the pump could be used permanently, instead of a heart transplant. Pumps may be able to save the lives of up to 100,000 Americans a year, the study says.

 

The VAD

The mechanical pump is known as a VAD, or ventricular assist device. VADs come in several sizes and shapes. The smallest pump sizes can be implanted in a person’s heart and belly. A tube goes from the pump through the skin to a control unit placed on the person’s waistline.

The control unit is connected to at least one battery pack that sits in a strap by the side of the person’s body.

“This technology is going to make huge leaps in the next two to three years,” heart surgeon Robert Kormos predicted.

 


 

Vocabulary

 

device    de · vice

Definition

noun

  1. an invention or machine used for a specific purpose.

The computer is a device that has changed the way people work.

This device can peel apples.

 

Advanced Definition

noun

  1. something designed or made for a specific purpose, esp. an invention or machine used to perform simple tasks mechanically or electrically.

A telephone is a type of communication device.

Because of her back pain, she uses a device that allows her to pick up objects from the floor without bending.

  1. a trick or scheme, often for a dishonest, evil, or mischievous purpose.

Pretending to be acquainted with the host was just a device to gain them entrance to the party.

  1. a design used as an emblem, as in heraldry, printing, trademarks, and or the like.


These are some examples of how the word or forms of the word are used:

  1. Threatening, humiliating, or harassing another person using a computer, a cell phone, or another electronic device is cyberbullying.
  2. The parents of two of his students were excited by Bell’s idea to invent a device that transmitted multiple signals over a single wire.
  3. Park Service scientists have implanted tracking devices into seventeen large pythons that were later rereleased into the wild. They have provided scientists with information regarding python behavior.
  4. Scientists suspect the hole is 30 miles long and 30 miles wide. Using a robotic device called Toby, the team will film the site and take samples to study.
  5. The throttle is a device in a car that controls the flow of fuel to the engine, changing the car’s Until the 1980s, most automobile throttles were mechanical-composed of moving parts.
  1. “If the device is not school-owned and is not being used on school campus, schools [should not] monitor [a] student’s online activity. If an issue arises, the student’s parents could manage it.”
  1. Alexander Graham Bell was in his laboratory, working on a device that would allow people to talk to one another through wires, even when they were not in the same room, or even the same city.
  2. Hundreds of thousands of whale sharks are thought to populate the oceans in a band of tropical waters that circles the globe. In 2007, Hueter and his colleagues attached a tracking device to an adult whale shark that they had named Rio Lady.
  3. When she was a student in a technology program at a design school in New York City, she had an unusual idea for her thesis project. She wanted to make a device you could wear in your mouth through which you could listen to music.
  4. When she was a student in a technology program at a design school in New York City, she had an unusual idea for her thesis project. She wanted to make a device you could wear in your mouth through which you could listen to music

 


 

mechanical    me · chan · i · cal

Definition

adjective

  1. made of or having to do with machines or motors.

Cars have many mechanical parts.

 

Advanced Definition

adjective

  1. consisting of or pertaining to machinery.

mechanical parts.

  1. produced, operated, or controlled by a machine or machines.

a mechanical production process a mechanical toy.

  1. specifically related to machines or the power produced by moving parts, as opposed to electrical or chemical power.

mechanical erosion.

  1. of or pertaining to skill or ability in the design, use, or repair of tools and machinery.

a mechanical genius.

  1. acting or performing like a machine or without human intervention; automatic.
  2. repetitive, machinelike, and without spirit or verve.

a mechanical performance of the sonata.

the mechanical answers of a person in shock

  1. designating a philosophy or doctrine that the universe and everything in it operates in a machinelike way; nonspiritual.
  2. concerning the technical or purely physical.

She mastered the mechanical aspects of  poetry.

Spanish cognate

mecánico: The Spanish word mecánico means mechanical.

 

These are some examples of how the word or forms of the word are used:

  1. The mechanical pump is known as a VAD, or ventricular assist device.
  2. He was one of the first people to draw designs for new machines and mechanical ideas on paper.
  3. Until the 1980s, most automobile throttles were mechanical – composed of moving parts.
  4. They had used a mechanical arm, but their robot also had to cart the material to the side, making their finish time later.
  5. Jordan’s movements were almost mechanical; she had grown so used to setting up or checking on drum kits that she hardly had to think about it anymore.
  6. For years, doctors have inserted a mechanical pump in the bodies of some patients who were waiting for a heart transplant.
  7. Maintenance of way: People with mechanical aptitude are needed in the track, signal, structure, telecommunications, welding, and work equipment departments, says Al McNulty, manager of structures training at Johnson County Community College in Kansas, which trains students for those positions.
  8. We just didn’t think there were mechanical, brake, or mat problems, she told Newsday.
  9. Because mechanical systems have moving parts, they’re prone to wear and tear and eventually break down.
  10. Even though the heart is a powerful muscle, many people’s hearts don’t work properly. A new study by Dr. Eric Rose indicates that a mechanical pump might help many of those patients.

 


 

portable    port · a · ble

Definition

adjective

  1. easy to carry or move.

We brought a portable radio to the picnic.

 

Advanced Definition

adjective

  1. capable of being carried or
  2. easy to carry or move with the
  3. of computer software, capable of working on a variety of

noun

  1. something such as a typewriter or computer that is easy to carry compared to others of its kind.

 

Spanish cognate

portable/portátil: The Spanish word portable/portátil means portable.


These are some examples of how the word or forms of the word are used:

  1. Banking on the need for portable drinking water and promoting the idea of fresher, cleaner water, the bottled water industry has created a huge market.
  2. Jake pulled a portable CD player from his backpack and settled in for the long bus ride to the science museum.
  3. Just as Karina turned on a small portable fan to cool herself, someone began yelling in the water.
  4. The smallest one is about the size of a portable CD player.
  5. Sure, there were other mining machines being invented, but none of them were easily portable like Charlie’s, nor were they affordable to the common man.
  6. Will a permanent access ramp work better, or is a fold-up portable ramp more suitable in this situation?
  7. Ternisha set up a portable medical instrument with tubes and clamps that cleaned her mother’s blood, then put everything away.
  8. To make sure you are prepared for a power outage, prepare an emergency kit. It should include a flashlight, batteries, a portable radio, and water.
  9. He climbed into the Then he turned on his portable video game. Lucas played the game while his father drove.

 


Name: ___________________________________ Date: _______________

 

1. According to the American Heart Association, about how many Americans suffered from heart failure in 2013?
A. less than 100,000
B. more than 20 million
C. a little more than 5 million
D. 400,000
2. The passage states that a solution to the problem of heart failure is the VAD. How many American lives could the pumps save?
A. 100,000 a year
B. 5 million a year
C. 60,000 a year
D. 85 a year
3. Based on the passage, it is likely that
A. heart transplants are very safe
B. more doctors will use mechanical pumps instead of heart transplants
C. powerful drugs are the best treatment for heart failure patients
D. heart failure is not a problem in the U.S.
4. Read these sentences from the text.
“For years, doctors have inserted a mechanical pump in the bodies of some patients who were waiting for a heart transplant.
[. . .]
“The study by Dr. Rose shows that the pump could be used permanently, instead of a heart transplant.”
What does the word “permanently” mean?
A. a short time
B. forever
C. once in a while
D. never
5. What is the main idea of this passage?
A. the use of a mechanical pump as a solution to heart failure
B. how to live a healthier life to prevent heart failure
C. the different designs of health pumps to choose from
D. how doctors put heart pumps into a body
6. What are two solutions doctors have used to help heart failure patients other than the mechanical pump?
_______________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________
7. Based on the passage, why will pumps most likely be able to save the lives of up to 100,000 Americans a year? Support your answer with evidence from the text.
_______________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________
8. Choose the word that best completes the sentence.
A healthy human heart is a powerful muscle, people with heart failure have hearts with weak muscles that can’t pump enough blood through the body.
A. so
B. but
C. because
D. after
9. Use the word “risky” in a sentence.
_______________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________

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Definitions and sample sentences within definitions are provided by Wordsmyth. © 2015 Wordsmyth. All rights reserved.

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