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Volume 46 | Issue 3 | April 2004



Shuttle tech may make kids' heart pump

The same technology that powers the Space Shuttle into orbit may now help children, thanks to a tiny heart pump recently approved for implantation in young, critically ill patients.

The heart pump helps patients who need a new heart survive until a donor heart is available. It is the first such device approved for use in children. It earned Food and Drug Administration approval earlier this year for use in children between the ages of five and 16 and was recently implanted for the first time in a child.

Not much larger than a penlight battery, the pump is the result of two decades of NASA collaboration with famed heart surgeon Dr. Michael DeBakey.