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  • Pediatric Ventricular Assist Device Program

    Hearing that you or your child is in end-stage heart failure is a very frightening time. The Heart Institute at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center has many device options that may be used to mechanically support the heart and improve blood flow to the body.  This mechanical support may be used with the goal of transplant or used to support the patient for the rest of the patient's life.

    Our Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) program is a nationally recognized leader in mechanical circulatory support (MCS).

    To meet our VAD team members and some of our patients, please watch our VAD program overview video:

  • One of the Largest Pediatric VAD Programs in the Country

    Our devices can serve a range of children of all ages and sizes with heart failure, including the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart.

  • Questions / Answers

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    A ventricular assist device is… a small pump that sits inside or outside the body and does the job of the heart when the heart is too sick to pump.

    Mechanical Circulatory support means that we are using a machine to move the blood through the body to all the vital organ systems. 

    MCS and VADs can support a patient’s blood flow to their body until their heart recovers is replaced by a transplanted heart, or for the duration of the patient’s life (destination therapy).

    Our VAD program offers a broad range of circulatory support devices, which enables us to support all children and young adults, regardless of size or cause of heart disease. Our approach to care is individual to each patient, making us unique in the field of mechanical circulatory support. 

  • We Support a Full Spectrum of Conditions and Offer Devices Tailored to Each Patient

    We offer a wide of VADs to support end-stage heart disease.

    Some of the cardiac diseases we support with VADs include:

    • Dilated cardiomyopathy
    • Myocarditis
    • Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
    • Chemotherapy induced dysfunction
    • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
    • Restrictive cardiomyopathy
    • Left Ventricular Non-Compaction Cardiomyopathy
    • Chronic and acute transplant rejection
    • Congenital heart disease

    Our VAD Program uses devices to stabilize patients and support them while they wait for a donor heart (bridge-to-transplant). And we also support patients with VADs who are not transplant candidates (destination therapy).

    Destination therapy can be an alternative to heart transplant for patients who are not candidates for transplantation or do not want to pursue transplantation.

  • Contact Us

    Visit our Contact Us page consultation or patient VAD/ECMO transport questions

    Contact Us
  • Devices Available

    The Ventricular Assist Device Program offers the following VADs:

    Short term support devices

    *  Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)
    *  RotaFlow LVAD or RVAD
    *  Centrimag/Pedimag LVAD or RVAD
    *  Aortic Balloon Pump

    Long term support devices:

    *  Berlin Heart EXCOR
    *  Heartmate II
    *  SynCardia Total Artificial Heart (TAH) and the Freedom Driver HeartWare

  • By The Numbers

    During the most recent fiscal year: 

    * 15 VADs have been placed

    * 92% survival to hospital discharge

    * Mean hospital stay for destination therapy patients = 45 days

  • Among the Best

    Our cardiology and heart surgery programs are ranked No. 7 in the nation in the 2015-16 list of Best Children’s Hospitals published by U.S. News & World Report.

    Our cardiology and heart surgery program are ranked among the best in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

    > Awards and Rankings
  • One Patient's Journey

    Read about LVAD recipient Liam Sprague's "Medical Odyssey" in the Cincinnati Enquirer.
  • Heart Institute Encyclopedia

    Heart Encyclopedia.
    Cincinnati Children's developed the Heart Institute Encyclopedia to provide easily accessible information on cardiac diseases, defects, disorders, and problems that may affect a child's heart. Also, learn about the new Heartpedia mobile app.> Encyclopedia