Tiny Device to Treat Babies’ Heart Defects

  • January 23, 2019
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Recently FDA has approved world’s first device to treat heart defects in premature babies without any major surgery. The device is made Abbott laboratories, which is smaller than a pea. Mainly this device is designed to treat Patent Ductus Arteriosus in babies.

For most babies opening between two blood vessels closes by itself, shortly after the birth. But for premature babies in some cases the opening doesn’t close which may occur breathing difficulty. According to Abbott research they found that mainly low weight birth babies have this condition.

The new device name Amplatzer Piccolo occluder, which may help to close the opening. The working of the device is its inserted through a small incision in the leg and guided through vessels to the heart. The device then stays in the patient’s body permanently with the body healing around it. Now, new born babies with this condition will live with the help of Abbott device.

Companies made several other similar devices to treat the condition in babies but Abbott device is the first approved by FDA to treat the condition in premature babies. If the opening is small, baby can live normally without any treatment. But if the openings is large, are treated with medication and sometimes with surgery. 

Director of cardiac catheterization at Lurie Children’s Hospital Dr. Alan Nugent said “Having a device specifically approved by the FDA  for treating the condition in premature babies could make the procedure easier to perform and more common”. 

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