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Texas Children's Hospital is First Pediatric Hospital in the Nation to Implant Artificial Heart
Date:6/29/2011

HOUSTON, June 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Texas Children's Hospital in Houston announced today that it is the first pediatric hospital in the United States to implant an artificial heart into the chest of a 17-year-old patient as the only option to save his life. The history-making patient underwent a rare 15-hour operation on May 22 and is currently recovering at Texas Children's Hospital. He is one of three congenital heart patients in the nation to get such a device. To view a video of the teen's journey, please see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Svm_2-KWPN4.

Jordan Merecka, born with his heart on the wrong side of his chest (dextrocardia) and his heart vessels backwards (corrected transposition of the great arteries) underwent heart surgery at Texas Children's Heart Center, where he was implanted with the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart, a pulsatile blood pump that  mimics the pumping action of the native heart. The Total Artificial Heart was implanted in Jordan as a bridge to donor-heart transplantation.  

"The patient's overall condition had deteriorated rapidly," said Dr. David L.S. Morales, pediatric cardiovascular surgeon at Texas Children's Heart Center, who performed the surgery. "Jordan was waiting for a donor heart, but both ventricles and two of his valves were failing, and we were running out of time. The artificial heart, which was immediately available when this patient needed it most, could take care of all of these problems with one operation," said Morales, also associate professor of surgery and pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM).

Similar to a heart transplant, the patient's native heart was removed and replaced by the Total Artificial Heart. It is pneumatically driven by precisely calibrated pulses of air and vacuum. The pump is a long-term device designed for a broad range of advanced-stage heart failure patients who might die before a donor h
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SOURCE Texas Children's Hospital
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