The Berlin Heart EXCOR is a heart pump that maintains blood flow in babies and small children with serious heart failure. A recent study, led by Dr. Charles D. Fraser Jr., surgeon-in-chief at Texas Children’s Hospital, demonstrated that cardiac support with the Berlin Heart EXCOR is an effective therapy to bridge children to heart transplantation. The Berlin Heart EXCOR is the first Pediatric Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) to be awarded approval from the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2011.
To date, the Berlin Heart has been used in approximately 1,000 children worldwide and is the only device of its kind available for babies and children with severe heart failure.
About the Berlin Heart
The Berlin Heart® EXCOR is a type of “artificial heart” pump that pulls blood from the left ventricle and then sends that blood to the aorta, thereby taking away extra work from the native heart..
The device, which comes in several sizes, is not totally implanted inside the body. Physicians insert cannulas, or flexible tubes, in the heart and they extend through the skin and connect to a small pump located outside the body. That pump, along with its computerized drive unit, maintains blood flow.
Children on the Berlin Heart can leave the intensive care unit and go to a regular hospital room where they receive rehabilitation and better nutrition while waiting for a transplant.
Pioneering Study and FDA Approval
Learn more about the Berlin Heart study and the FDA approval for the device here.
Texas Children’s Heart Center can be reached at 832-82-HEART (43278).
1 Fraser CD Jr, Jaquiss RDB, Rosenthal DN, et al. “Prospective trial of a pediatric ventricular assist device.” N Engl J Med 2012; 367:532-541.