The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded four contracts totaling $23.6 million to begin preclinical testing of devices to help children born with congenital heart defects or those who develop heart failure. The four-year program is called Pumps for Kids, Infants, and Neonates (PumpKIN).
Each year in the United States, nearly 1,800 infants die as a result of congenital heart defects and another 350 develop heart disease, which leads to heart failure for many. Approximately 60 infants and children under 5 years old who are placed on the heart transplant waiting list die each year before receiving one. Mechanically assisted circulatory support could be used to sustain these young patients as they seek to recover or wait to receive a heart transplant.