(Vatican Radio) The Vatican-owned Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital has conducted the first implantation of a HeartMate III magnetically levitated centrifugal heart pump in a pediatric patient.
The surgery was performed on a 16-year-old girl on 7 January as a “bridge,” until she could receive a human heart transplant on 11 January.
The new device uses magnetic levitation to eliminate friction between the magnetic parts and the blood circulating through the heart, which reduces wear to the device, as well as helping prevent phenomena such as hemolysis in the blood.
The device, which is still undergoing trials in the United States, was approved for use in Europe in October 2015. The European trial showed a survival rate of 98% at 30 days after implantation and of 92% at 6 months.
Dr. Antonio Amodeo – who directed the surgery – said the girl was in danger of sudden death due to severe cardiomyopathy.
“Today, the young lady is doing well, and was discharged from the hospital on 1 February after receiving her heart transplant,” he said.