Preliminary Experience With the MicroMed DeBakey Pediatric Ventricular Assist Device
Mechanical circulatory support for both acute and chronic heart failure is a widely applied therapeutic option in the adult population with a variety of devices clinically available. Technology in this field has advanced sufficiently such that long-term support or "destination therapy" has become a generally accepted reality. Similar progress has not occurred in the field of device support for heart failure in children. While the number of potential patients is significantly lower in the pediatric population, the clinical relevance and poignancy of individual need are nonetheless real. Until recently, children with heart failure have been largely disadvantaged in comparison to their adult counterparts. The DeBakey VAD Child (MicroMed Technology, Inc, Houston, TX) represents a hopeful initial step in the direction of reducing the technological gap between adults and children. While the clinical experience with this device is limited at present, preliminary results are encouraging. This report will provide an overview of the DeBakey VAD Child, including device specifications, indications for clinical use, surgical and postoperative considerations, and updated clinical experience.
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