Skooter reporting 05/28/12A tiny titanium pump, believe to be the world’s smallest artificial heart was implanted in a baby at the Bambino Gesu’ Hospital in Rome May 24, 2012.
A 16 month-old boy have been saved by Italian doctors by implanting the world's smallest artificial heart to keep the baby alive until a donor was found for a transplant.
The implantation was carried out last month and made public this week, the doctors at Rome's Bambino Gesu hospital said. The identity of the baby has been withheld, and for 13 days, the infant was kept alive before the transplant and is now doing well.
Dilated myocardiopathy was what the baby was suffering from; it is a heart muscle disease which normally causes stretched or enlarged fibers of the heart and little by little it makes the heart weaker until its ability to pump blood efficiently is brought to a standstill.
Antonio Amodeo, a surgeon told Reuters Television that this is a breakthrough, adding that while the device was now used as a linked leading to a transplant, in the future it could be permanent procedure.
The said device weighs only 11 grams and can handle a blood flow of 1.5 liters per minute. An artificial heart for adults weighs 900 grams and was invented by American Doctor Robert Jarvik.
The hospital has to have a special permission from Jarvik and the Italian health ministry before proceeding with the procedure.