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"In 1970 I found little difficulty staying 30 years ahead of the man in the street, and now I find it difficult to stay 18 months ahead of the man on the street."
- Vernor Vinge

Dixon Pump  
  An temporary mechanical heart to circulate blood.  

Although this is a fairly early sf reference, the first machine to replace the heart in circulating blood to the body was created in 1952 and used successfully in several different procedures. Prototypes used successfully in animals date from 1949.

He glanced up from his work for a moment. Into the girl's chest he had plugged a Dixon pump; it had taken over temporarily the job of her uneven heart...

"Keep the people back," Parsons said, and resumed work. The throb of the robot pump gave him confidence; it had been inserted very well, and the load had left the girl's circulatory system.

From Dr. Futurity, by Philip K. Dick.
Published by Ace Books in 1960
Additional resources -

Here's another description, this time detailing the installation process:

He punctured the rib cage and plugged the Dixon pump into the vascular system, bypassing the suspended heart. The pump went immediately to work. Blood flowed.

Dick implies that the mechanical heart is effectively a robot; it is a self-regulating device.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Dr. Futurity
  More Ideas and Technology by Philip K. Dick
  Tech news articles related to Dr. Futurity
  Tech news articles related to works by Philip K. Dick

Dixon Pump-related news articles:
  - Patient Walks Out With Fully Artificial Heart

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