The expected heart rate when a heart is removed from a living body is variable, depending on the physiological state of the body when the heart is removed and the technique used to surgically remove it. Generally speaking, a person’s natural heart rate before death is between 60 and 100 beats per minute, but once the heart is removed from the body, it may still pulsate for several minutes or more due to energy still stored in muscle fibers.
The French Nobel laureate Alexis Carrel showed that a heart can continue to beat for days, even weeks or more after an animal has died. Further research done by scientists suggests that a heart can remain in a state of cardiac arrest for a short time after death, and may have brief bursts of electrical activity (i.e., a heartbeat or pulse) occurring as soon as 64 seconds, and as long as four minutes and 20 seconds after clinical death has been declared.
When a heart is removed from a living body, the medical team performing the procedure must take special care to ensure that the patient’s natural heart rate does not become too low or too high during the operation. As the heart is removed, it is connected to a heart-lung machine that keeps the heart beating and the blood circulating through the body. This machine must be adjusted to maintain the patient’s natural heart rate. After the procedure is complete, the heart-lung machine is disconnected and the patient’s heart rate will return to its normal range.
It is important to note that the expected heart rate when a heart is removed from a living body is very much dependent on the physiological state of the person when the heart is removed and the technique used to surgically remove it. Therefore, it is important to seek medical advice and supervision if considering this type of surgery.