Research & Innovation | Overview
Mechanical circulatory support with VADs
New technology has enabled many heart failure patients to live and thrive with the help of ventricular assist devices, or VADs. Boston Children’s physicians and nurses have played a leading role in the research and regulatory issues surrounding pediatric VAD use in the United States. These devices give blood circulation a boost and can serve as a life-saving bridge to transplant. Boston Children’s cardiologists were integral in designing and conducting the multi-institutional study of the Berlin Heart®, which gained FDA approval for use in children in 2011. Boston Children’s continues to expand the field of VAD support in children by introducing new devices such as the HeartWare® HVAD, which allows children to be discharged home and to resume activities of life.
A Boston Children’s patient was one of the first children in North America to go back to school with a VAD as she waited for a heart transplant. And in the fall of 2014, one of our patients attended college while living on campus with a VAD.
At Boston Children’s, we are always looking for ways to translate basic science research into new and improved clinical treatments for our patients.