The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved use of the Berlin Heart, the first ventricular assist device made specifically for pediatric patients. Ventricular assist devices are used when a patient needs a heart transplant but can’t wait for a donor heart to become available. The Berlin Heart assists the failing heart until an appropriate donor heart can be found. Surgeons on staff at Children’s Hospital of Michigan are leaders in the use of this advanced technology and testified to the FDA about its life-saving benefits. In larger patients, it is sometime possible to use the HeartWare ventricular assist device. The pump and connecting tubes for this centrifugal flow device are contained with the patient’s chest with only a small driveline exiting the body. And connecting to the portable controller and battery packs. Under the right circumstances, it is possible for patients to go home with this portable device to await their heart transplant.
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