Editor’s note:The study that reports on the clinical course of children who received the Berlin Heart EXCOR is published in the Aug. 9 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine (

N Engl J Med
.
2012
;
367
:
532
-541
).

Pediatric patients with terminal heart failure have a new lease on life thanks to a study led by Charles D. Fraser Jr., M.D., FAAP, that was instrumental in getting Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for a device that keeps young patients alive while awaiting a heart transplant.

The Berlin Heart EXCOR Pediatric Ventricular Assist Device, which received FDA approval in December 2011, has been used in Europe since 1990. Although some U.S. children have benefited from the device since 2000, physicians had to request the EXCOR on a case-by-case basis for “compassionate use.” The device had to be shipped from Germany and returned after...

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