HOUSTON (AP) _ A 47-year-old man awaiting a heart transplant received a newly developed implant that will help his heart supply oxygen-rich blood to his body, doctors said.

Doctors at Texas Heart Institute implanted the left ventricular assist developed by Thermedics Inc. of Woburn, Mass., on Tuesday, the first use of the device in a human.

Cardiologist Edward Massin said the patient has had several heart attacks. Doctors twice inserted a balloon pump in the aorta, but the patient continued to do poorly, Massin said.

Dr. Bud Frazier, chief of the institute's heart transplant division, said a Jarvik-7 artificial heart would not have fit into the patient, whose name was not released.

The patient's condition improved after the pump was implanted, hospital officials said.