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Children's Hospital leads projects to develop nation's first heart assist devices for young children
Date:4/3/2008

s performed more than 300 heart, heart-lung, lung and heart-liver transplants in children, including more than 200 heart transplants.

Childrens is one of the worlds most experienced centers in the use of VADs to support pediatric transplant patients awaiting donor hearts.

Until such time as a pediatric VAD is developed and approved for use, Childrens is one of several hospitals in the United States to have asked for and been granted, on a case-by-case basis, approval from the FDA to implant the Berlin Heart Excor for compassionate use. Five patients at Childrens have received Berlin Heart Excor devices and gone on to receive successful heart transplants. This VAD, developed in Germany, is an external pump that can be used in small children.

Weve been successful in using the Berlin Heart pump to keep young patients alive and healthy long enough for a donor heart to become available for transplant, and we are able to use adult pumps in our larger pediatric patients, Dr. Morell said. But getting approval to use a Berlin Heart can be a complicated process, especially when a young childs survival is dependent on it. This funding from the NIH for these projects is so crucial to our efforts to develop a pediatric VAD for use here in the United States as additional options for the hundreds of kids who suffer heart failure each year.


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Contact: Marc Lukasiak
marc.lukasiak@chp.edu
412-692-7919
Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh
Source:Eurekalert

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