Breakthrough Heart Pump Spares Teen from Urgent Transplant

Breakthrough Heart Pump Spares Teen from Urgent Transplant

Kolby Zanier, the 14-year-old girl from Rossland, reportedly carries her heart in her small purse and carries it 24x7.

Initially, the heart pump, which weighs in excess of two kilograms, used to burden her shoulder. But soon, she got used to it. The gear carries a controller, various spares and batteries, all linked to the human organ through cable by a hole in her stomach.

The girl hardly minds the weight, mainly because it enables her attend Grade 10, visit her home in Rossland. She can even run and play volleyball, though swimming is fairly difficult and various contact sports would prove dicey.

Kolby is the first Canadian pediatric patient, and apparently third in North America to get a “HeartWare” pump, a gadget fixed into the lower half of her extremely ruptured left ventricle. The device pumps blood from the chamber of her heart using a tube straightaway into the aorta, which carries out the circulation of blood through the human body.

The Berlin heart can actually safeguards life, but during the course of two to four months after carrying out implantation, patients are likely to experience 20 to 30% threat of heart strokes inspired by blood clots, revealed Dr. Holger Buchholz, Stollery Children's Hospital’s Director of the Pediatric Artificial Heart Program.

Doctors further revealed that Kolby’s heart was in such bad state that waiting one bit longer would have been potentially mortal. Though Berlin heart, which was developed 20 years back, was an option, it is quite complicated and tough to handle as the patient has to stay in hospital. Further, heavy machinery used in Berlin heart makes it dicey and unbearable.

The Berlin heart saves lives, but within two to four months of implantation, patients have a 20 to 30 per cent risk of strokes caused by blood clots, said Dr. Holger Buchholz, director of the pediatric artificial heart program at the Stollery Children's Hospital which accepts complex pediatric heart patients from Western Canada. The risk with the new HeartWare pump is far lower, at three to five per cent, and kicks in long after the operation is done.

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