Heart assist devices are available for adults, but were not widely available for kids. In the study, the researchers used the Excor pediatric ventricular assist device made by Berlin Heart GmbH. Nine kids were kept alive using this heart pump. All participants had severe heart failure and weighed less than 88 pounds.
One kid died after heart transplant due to kidney failure, but the remaining eight are alive after transplants.
"A lot of the children in whom they were implanted would probably not have made it with conventional therapy while waiting for a suitable heart," said lead researcher Dr Sanjay Gandhi.
The details of the study appear in the journal Circulation.