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NHLBI funds preclinical tests on devices for infants and children with congenital heart defects
Date:2/4/2010

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded four contracts totaling $23.6 million to begin preclinical testing of devices to help children born with congenital heart defects or those who develop heart failure. The four-year program is called Pumps for Kids, Infants, and Neonates (PumpKIN).

Each year in the United States, nearly 1,800 infants die as a result of congenital heart defects and another 350 develop heart disease, which leads to heart failure for many. Approximately 60 infants and children under 5 years old who are placed on the heart transplant waiting list die each year before receiving one. Mechanically assisted circulatory support could be used to sustain these young patients as they seek to recover or wait to receive a heart transplant.

"This research seeks to develop technologies to expand life-saving options for infants and children born with congenital heart defects or those who develop heart failure," said NHLBI Acting Director Susan B. Shurin, M.D., a pediatrician. "The NHLBI is committed to saving the lives of our youngest patients. Well-designed circulatory support devices are expected to substantially improve the outcomes of the infants and young children who need them as they seek to recover or wait to receive a heart transplant."

The options for chronic circulatory support devices for infants and young children are limited, and all have substantial risks for serious adverse events such as infection, stroke, and device failure. With this in mind, the NHLBI launched the Pediatric Circulatory Support Program in 2004 by funding the development of five novel circulatory support devices for infants and young children with congenital and acquired cardiovascular disease.

The PumpKIN program is the next phase of NHLBI support for the development and clinical realization of these devices. The program's goal is to complete the needed animal
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Contact: NHLBI Communications Office
nhlbi_news@nhlbi.nih.gov
301-496-4236
NIH/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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