5-month-old receives 1st artificial heart at UNC Children's

Chapel Hill, N.C.-based UNC Children's Hospital implanted its first artificial heart into a 5-month-old girl with severe heart failure.

The child was diagnosed with severe heart failure in January, according to an Oct. 4 news release from the hospital. She was put on the heart transplant list but was deteriorating too quickly. Physicians implanted a Berlin Heart, a type of ventricular assist device used to support children with severe heart failure until recovery or a transplant is possible.

The device was implanted Jan. 25, making the girl the first Berlin Heart recipient at UNC Children's. On March 8, the device was removed and on Aug. 5, the baby found a donor match for a new heart. She received the new heart 11 days before her first birthday, the release said.

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