The world's first pediatric heart pump, also known as Berlin Heart, is an effective alternative for children waiting for heart transplant after a new study found that it kept more than 90 percent of children alive before they underwent heart transplant surgery.
The study was led by researchers at Texas Children's Hospital who observed around 48 children who were fitted with the device in 17 American and Canadian hospitals between 2007 and 2010. The participants were divided into two groups depending on body size.
The researchers found that more than 92 percent of larger patients with an average age of 9 years successfully underwent heart transplant after being placed on Berlin Heart for 192 days while 88 percent of smaller patients with an average age of 1 year were successfully placed on the device for 174 days before undergoing the transplant compared to 33 percent and 25 percent of respective groups being placed on heart-lung machine.
"This shows children don't have to be second-class citizens any longer. Doctors now should have confidence they can offer children the same kind of heart support adults have been getting", lead researcher Dr Charles Fraser Jr said.