New Promise for Infant Heart Transplants

 By: Alexa Pozniak

The numbers are heartbreaking: Every 90 minutes, one person in the United States dies while waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant.

Among those on the transplant list are 2,200 children under 18, newborns and infants with heart disorders.

They are often the extremely sick and have the smallest window of opportunity for survival, experts explain. And because of their small size, doctors often face difficulty in finding suitable hearts for them.

"There are just a lot less actual donors available, and the numbers of infants being transplanted as a primary procedure for congenital heart disease, instead of trying other surgical procedures first, has increased," says Dr. Linda J. Addonizio, medical director of the Pediatric Cardiac Transplant Program at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City.

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