Pediatric Heart Pump Improves Survival Rates

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 5:35am

A ventricular assist device (VAD) designed for children of various sizes appears to lengthen survival in pediatric patients awaiting a heart transplant, researchers found.

The median time to death or weaning from the device with an unacceptable neurologic outcome was 144 days for the largest children and exceeded 174 days for the smallest children, according to Charles Fraser Jr., MD, of Texas Children's Hospital in Houston, and colleagues.

For comparison, the median survival time for historical controls receiving extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) was only 10 days for the largest children and 13 days for the smallest children, the researchers reported in the August 9 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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