We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. To learn more, click here. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies. Cookie Policy.

Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress
Sign In
Advertise with Us
Sekisui Diagnostics UK Ltd.

Download Mobile App

Small, Implantable Cardiac Pump to Help Children Awaiting Heart Transplant

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 10 May 2024
Print article
Image: The implantable ventricular assist device can support a child’s failing heart (Photo courtesy of Jarvik Heart, Inc.)
Image: The implantable ventricular assist device can support a child’s failing heart (Photo courtesy of Jarvik Heart, Inc.)

Implantable ventricular assist devices, available for adults for over 40 years, fit inside the chest and are generally safer and easier to use than external devices. These devices enable patients to live at home, attend work or school, and engage in activities like walking and biking. In contrast, pediatric medical technology lags significantly. The only ventricular assist device for young children is the Berlin Heart, which is external, suitcase-sized, and linked with a high stroke risk. This device requires hospitalization, often for extended periods, as children wait for a donor heart. This situation places a greater burden on children compared to adults, who can typically leave the hospital with similar devices. Now, a small, implantable cardiac pump that has proved successful in initial human trials could allow children to await heart transplants at home rather than in hospital settings.

This pump, known as the Jarvik 2015 ventricular assist device, is surgically attached to the heart to boost its pumping capability, buying time for a donor heart to be found. This could bridge a significant gap in pediatric heart transplant care. Researchers at the Stanford School of Medicine (Stanford, CA, USA) have tested this device in a feasibility trial involving seven children with failing hearts, out of which six proceeded to heart transplants, and one recovered without the need for a transplant. The Jarvik 2015, about the size of an AA battery, can be implanted in children as light as 18 pounds, allowing them to engage in normal activities while they await a heart transplant. Pending further validation in a larger trial, this device could simplify the transplant waiting process for young patients and their families.

“While we are extremely grateful to have the Berlin Heart, a life-saving device, ventricular assist devices for adults have been improving every decade, but in pediatrics, we’re using technology from the 1960s,” said the study’s lead author, pediatric cardiologist Christopher Almond, MD, professor of pediatrics at Stanford Medicine. “There’s a huge difference in the medical technology available to kids and adults, which is an important public health problem that markets have struggled to fix because conditions like heart failure are rare in children.”

Related Links:
Stanford School of Medicine 

Gold Member
SARS‑CoV‑2/Flu A/Flu B/RSV Sample-To-Answer Test
SARS‑CoV‑2/Flu A/Flu B/RSV Cartridge (CE-IVD)
Gold Member
12-Channel ECG
Silver Member
Wireless Mobile ECG Recorder
Antegrade Femoral Nailing System

Print article


Critical Care

view channel
Image: The largest scale analysis compared longer-term percutaneous devices for aortic valve replacement versus surgery (Photo courtesy of Adobe Stock)

Transcatheter Valve Replacement Outcomes Similar To Surgery, Finds Study

A new study has shown that a minimally invasive procedure for replacing the aortic valve in the heart—known as transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)—is on par with the more traditional surgical... Read more

Patient Care

view channel
Image: The portable, handheld BeamClean technology inactivates pathogens on commonly touched surfaces in seconds (Photo courtesy of Freestyle Partners)

First-Of-Its-Kind Portable Germicidal Light Technology Disinfects High-Touch Clinical Surfaces in Seconds

Reducing healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) remains a pressing issue within global healthcare systems. In the United States alone, 1.7 million patients contract HAIs annually, leading to approximately... Read more

Health IT

view channel
Image: First ever institution-specific model provides significant performance advantage over current population-derived models (Photo courtesy of Mount Sinai)

Machine Learning Model Improves Mortality Risk Prediction for Cardiac Surgery Patients

Machine learning algorithms have been deployed to create predictive models in various medical fields, with some demonstrating improved outcomes compared to their standard-of-care counterparts.... Read more

Point of Care

view channel
Image: The Quantra Hemostasis System has received US FDA special 510(k) clearance for use with its Quantra QStat Cartridge (Photo courtesy of HemoSonics)

Critical Bleeding Management System to Help Hospitals Further Standardize Viscoelastic Testing

Surgical procedures are often accompanied by significant blood loss and the subsequent high likelihood of the need for allogeneic blood transfusions. These transfusions, while critical, are linked to various... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2024 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.