Italian doctors give teenager artificial heart: hospital

Oct 02, 2010

Doctors in Italy implanted an artificial heart into a 15-year-old boy on Saturday, the first time the procedure has been performed on a child, the hospital said.

Heart surgeons at Rome's Bambino Gesu Children's Hospital carried out the 10-hour breakthrough operation on Thursday, and the hospital said it was "cautious" over the boy's condition.

"A permanent artificial heart in the inside of the chest was implanted for the first time on an (adolescent) patient. So far this type of implant has only taken place on adults," said the hospital in a statement.

Artificial hearts are usually used on a temporary basis for patients awaiting a suitable human transplant, but the boy suffered from an illness that made a long wait impossible.

The artificial heart is four centimetres (1.6 inches) wide and weighs 400 grammes (14 ounces), and special measures were taken to reduce the risk of infection.

"The risk of infection represents the primary cause of failure of alternative solutions attempted to date worldwide," said the hospital.

The procedure "opened new therapeutic perspectives and hope for life for all patients with cardiac illnesses for whom a transplant is needed, especially for those like Thursday's patient who cannot receive a donated heart for clinical reasons," the statement said.

Explore further: Interleukin-27: Can a cytokine with both pro and anti-inflammatory activity make a good drug target?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Artificial heart implants approved in U.S.

Sep 06, 2006

The use of fully implanted artificial hearts for patients with advanced heart failure was approved for use Wednesday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Texas Children's discharges history-making patient

Feb 13, 2010

The wait is over for 16-year-old Francesco "Frank" De Santiago. On January 29, De Santiago received a donor heart in a nine-hour transplant operation at Texas Children's Heart Center De Santiago made news ...

Girl with two hearts healthy with just one

Apr 13, 2006

British surgeons are amazed how quickly a 12-year-old Welsh girl, who had her transplanted heart removed after 10 years, has recovered with her original heart.

Recommended for you

Team untangles the biological effects of blue light

11 hours ago

Blue light can both set the mood and set in motion important biological responses. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Medicine and School of Arts and Sciences have teased apart the ...

Mouse model provides new insight in to preeclampsia

12 hours ago

Worldwide, preeclampsia is a leading cause of maternal deaths and preterm births. This serious pregnancy complication results in extremely high blood pressure and organ damage. The onset of preeclampsia is associated with ...

User comments : 5

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Quantum_Conundrum
not rated yet Oct 02, 2010
Can they give some real details, like how is the heart powered and how long is it expected to last?

is this dude like the "bionic boy" now? Is he going to be able to run a 40 in 4.2? Or is he barely alive?

Details matter. This wasn't even an artile. this was like a tweet or a sound-byte.
nanotech_republika_pl
not rated yet Oct 02, 2010
Yes, it is such a piece of ...y news! Look at the title for example, "Italian doctors give teenager artificial heart: hospital". What the f...?! Who or what is hospital?!
nanotech_republika_pl
not rated yet Oct 02, 2010
And since this news is all over the media, you can tell it is the first time the permanent heart is being implanted, rather a temporary one. But the first paragraph gives you the impression that the unusual thing about the surgery is the age of the boy!
nanotech_republika_pl
not rated yet Oct 02, 2010
BTW, how do you people typically "rate the story", by how big the news is or by how it is delivered? I typically go with the first option, but this story makes me rate it by how the news is delivered.
Quantum_Conundrum
not rated yet Oct 02, 2010
BTW, how do you people typically "rate the story", by how big the news is or by how it is delivered? I typically go with the first option, but this story makes me rate it by how the news is delivered.


I usually rate the article by how big the news is, unless it's a particularly badly written article.

Even then, I might give it a good rating, and then just complain about it in the comment thread.