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Safety of Berlin Heart EXCOR Pump Changes in the PICU

Hansen, Gregory MD1; Conradi, Alf MD1; Lequier, Laurance MD1; Guerra, Gonzalo Garcia MD1; Quiñonez, Luis G. MD2; Ross, David B. MD2; Rebeyka, Ivan M. MD2; Buchholz, Holger MD2

Pediatric Critical Care Medicine: January 2013 - Volume 14 - Issue 1 - p 50–54
doi: 10.1097/PCC.0b013e31825bbbd9
Cardiac Intensive Care

Objective: To describe whether Berlin Heart EXCOR Pediatric pump changes in the ICU are associated with infection, hemodynamic and ventilatory instability, and neurologic injury.

Design: Retrospective, descriptive chart review.

Setting: PICU in a quaternary care children’s hospital.

Patients: Eight patients were supported on Berlin Heart EXCOR Pediatric pumps due to cardiomyopathy or cardiogenic shock. Two patients were supported with left ventricular assist devices, five had biventricular assist devices, and one required a univentricular assist device.

Interventions: A team of cardiac surgeons, pediatric intensivists, and operating room nurses conducted sixteen pump changes in the pediatric intensive care unit. Patients were monitored for deleterious effects for 5 days following the change.

Measurement and Main Results: For the first 48 hrs following the EXCOR pump change, no patients exhibited acute neurologic deficits or escalation of hemodynamic or ventilatory support. Over the first 5 days, no blood cultures were positive for microbes.

Conclusions: Berlin Heart EXCOR Pediatric pump changes in the pediatric intensive care unit appear to be a safe procedure when conducted by a highly specialized team.

1 Department of Pediatrics, University of Alberta, Stollery Children’s Hospital, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

2 Division of Cardiac Surgery, University of Alberta, Stollery Children's Hospital, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

The authors have not disclosed any potential conflicts of interest.

Address requests for reprints to: Gregory Hansen, MD, 3A3. 19 WMC, Stollery Childrens Hospital, 8440 112 Street, Edmonton, AB T6G 2B7, Canada. E-mail:

©2013The Society of Critical Care Medicine and the World Federation of Pediatric Intensive and Critical Care Societies