July 14, 2005

PediPump may help kids with heart failure

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Researchers have developed a
tiny heart pump specifically for use in children, even
newborns, with heart failure, a condition in which the failing
heart pumps less blood than the body needs.

The device, known as the PediPump, is smaller than similar
devices used in adults, but still provides excellent
blood-pumping support, Dr. Brian Duncan, of the Cleveland
Clinic Foundation in Ohio and colleagues report in the current
issue of the journal Artificial Organs.

The development of so-called ventricular assist device
(VAD) technology for children is widely regarded as one of the
major unaddressed needs in pediatric cardiology and cardiac
surgery, they point out in the report.

"Historically, children have had few options for mechanical
support of the failing heart," Duncan said in a statement. "The
experimental development of the PediPump and similar devices
will give new hope to children with heart failure."

Testing of the PediPump prototype in a mock loop model
showed excellent performance. A next generation version is
already in the works with the goal of making the device even
smaller and totally implantable.

SOURCE: Artificial Organs, July 2005.