Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh researchers are working on the first heart pump specifically designed for young children. Researchers are working on both external and implantable devices for children. Surgeon Peter Wearden says the challenge for designing these types of devices is that they have to allow for lower blood flow without letting the blood clot.
Wearden says the new machines will be an improvement over those in use now that are designed for adults. He says the current machines are designed to be used on children for about two weeks. The new devices will be fine for up to six months. Wearden says the dream is to one day design a pump that can be used indefinitely, so that patients won't ever need a transplant.