U of Texas hospital performs its 1st heart device implant on infant

Austin, Texas-based Dell Children's Medical Center, performed its first Berlin Heart device implant in a 3-month-old girl on Jan. 11, according to a Feb. 1 news release.

The ventricular assist device takes over the heart function in small children when the child's own heart is too weak to pump sufficient amounts of blood to the lungs or throughout the body. The device is meant as a bridge for children awaiting a full heart transplant. 

Surgeons at Dell Children's Medical Center, part of Ascension and U of Texas Health in Austin, performed the procedure on Zaria Jackson, who arrived at the emergency department a few days earlier with signs of heart failure. When her condition deteriorated, the pediatric cardiac team made the decision to implant the Berlin Heart device.  

Charles Fraser, MD, chief of pediatric and congenital surgery at Dell Children's, and Ziyad Binsalamah, MD, surgical director of heart transplantation and mechanical circulatory support at the hospital, completed the eight-hour surgery. 

"Zaria can live with the support of the Berlin Heart for an extended period, while we wait on a donor heart," Dr. Fraser said. 

More articles on cardiology:

UW Health cardiologist undergoes rare heart-kidney transplant 
Cardiologists respond to 2020 ethics survey: 5 findings
10 top cardiology stories in January

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