Abbott India Launches Device to Treat Congenital Heart Defects in Premature Babies

First and only minimally invasive transcatheter treatment specifically approved for premature babies with a leaky duct

Abbott, the global healthcare company, launched its Amplatzer Piccolo â„¢ Occluder in India, the world’s first medical device that can be implanted in the smallest babies (weighing as little as 700g) using a minimally invasive procedure to treat persistent ductus arteriosus, or PDA. One of the most common congenital heart defects in premature babies, PDA is a potentially fatal opening between two blood vessels leading from the heart.

The Amplatzer Piccolo, a device even smaller than a pea, now offers hope to premature babies and newborns who need corrective treatment, and who may not respond to medication and are at high risk of having corrective surgery.

“Piccolo represents a critical advance in the quality of care for the most vulnerable premature babies who may not be able to undergo surgery to repair their hearts,” said Payal Agrawal, general manager of structural heart activities at Abbott in India and the subcontinent.

The Amplatzer Piccolo Occluder is a self-expanding wire mesh device that is inserted through a small incision in the leg and guided through the vessels to the heart, where it is placed to seal the opening in the heart. It is designed to allow the physician to insert it into the aortic or pulmonary artery, as well as to recover and redeploy the device for optimal placement. Because the device is deployed as a minimally invasive procedure, many critically ill premature babies in the neonatal intensive care unit may be weaned from life support shortly after the procedure. .

“This product is a potentially vital breakthrough that will help us treat these delicate infants who might otherwise not be able to survive,” said Dr Edwin Francis, Senior Consultant, Head of Pediatric Cardiology, Lisie Hospital, Ernakulum. He added, “This is a great preloaded device, which means it doesn’t require a lot of preparation and has a more flexible profile that is easier to deploy. It has more variety in terms of size and therefore suitable for babies of different ages and weights.

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