Heart pumps are a great way to keep children alive until an organ can be found to be transplanted into them say researchers of a new study.
The study was conducted to determine the effectiveness of the miniature heart assistive devices on children, and in 8 out of 9 severely ill children the device kept them alive until transplants were available.
For the study, the researchers chose to use one device known as the Excor pediatric ventricular assist device made by Berlin Heart GmbH.
The devices act as an artificial pump, keeping blood flowing throughout the body and helping the ailing heart. It is implanted and kept in the body until an actual donor heart becomes available.
The devices, which are available for adults are more often than not, too big for children, thus it is harder for children to benefit from them.
“Research and development on pediatric pumps has been woefully lacking,” said Dr. Sanjiv Gandhi of the Saint Louis Children’s Hospital in Missouri.
“Up until now there were no available pumps for children who are in end stage heart failure and in need of some sort of bridge while waiting for a suitable donor organ to come along,” he told Reuters.
The study is published in the journal Circulation.