Duke University Hospital in Durham, North Carolina has succeeded carried out the country’s first pediatric heart transplant using the donation after circulatory death method, the hospital announced on September 9.
The method allows surgeons to revive the heart after it has stopped beating. The hearts of the donors are then connected to an organ preservation system to maintain the pumping action of the organ.
As the technology is only approved for use in adults, Duke’s surgeons received compassionate use approval from the FDA to perform the DCD transplant on a 14-year-old patient.
The eight-hour procedure was performed on August 31 on Nae Rice, a pediatric patient born with a gene deletion system. In February, she was hospitalized in Duke with critical heart failure and received a left ventricular assist device, her family said. Spectrum 1 News. However, LVAD acted as a bridge to transplantation and was not a long term solution. Duke’s doctors contacted Nae’s family in June to tell them she was eligible for a transplant using the DCD method.
“This is a historic achievement for children with end-stage heart failure”, noted Joseph Turek, MD, PhD, chief of pediatric cardiac surgery department at Duke. âChildren are, unfortunately, an underserved population when it comes to innovation, adapting technology and clinical trials. It is our duty to defend them and to continue to advance care in pediatric medicine. “
Dr. Turek and Benjamin Bryner, MD, recovered the donated heart while Nick Anderson, MD, and Jacob Shroder, MD, led the transplant procedure.
In 2019, surgeons at Duke were also the first in the country to perform a DCD heart transplant in an adult.