Small Devices for Small Patients

A warning for expectant mothers: one in every one hundred newborns has a heart problem.

Until now, these babies were treated with the same devices used in adults.

Little Vivian Andorf had her first heart surgery when she was just two hours old.

"She's missing one chamber of her heart… Veins going from her lungs to her heart they are progressively narrow," said her mother Margaret Andorf.

So far, Vivian's had seven surgeries and six cauterizations.

"I've seen the caths and they're just these big long tubes and you just can't imagine how they get in," Andorf said.

Dr. Alex Golden, Pediatric Cardiologist said, "Most of the equipment that we use was designed and developed and produced for adults."

Imagine a wire the size of the cord on your headphones, snaking through a tiny baby.

"We gain more info about how the last surgery went and how the next surgery should go."

Using adult-sized catheters, doctors can damage access vessels in the groin and cause a blockage. Doctor Alex Golden is the first pediatric cardiologist in the U.S. to use a new approved cath for kids.

"Having a cath that is 20% smaller than the smallest one we were using previously, I think, that's a great benefit."

"It feels like we have so much hope," Andorf said.

Hope that a newborn given just a five percent chance of survival will beat the odds.

Vivian has one more surgery planned for this year. The new catheter is the first in the U.S. to be approved specifically for children.

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