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Press release

An international success story: Berlin Heart supports the 2500th child with the EXCOR® Pediatric!

With the EXCOR® Pediatric, Berlin Heart has developed the world's only approved ventricular assist device (VAD) for children with severe heart disease and has thus been the market leader for more than 30 years. 2500 children have already received life-saving support with the EXCOR®. One of these children is the little Ichika.


Review: Japan, 2019. Shortly after her 1st birthday, Ichika's doctors noticed a slight enlargement of the left heart ventricle. Ichika herself feels nothing of this frightening diagnosis at this time, she is doing well. Ichika is an open-minded and curious little girl. She loves animals - especially dogs and loves to go to the zoo together with her parents.  

At the age of 1.5 years, her condition worsens and the left-sided heart insufficiency becomes acute. First, Ichika is treated with medication at the University Hospital in Hokkaido, but her blood pressure drops. 

Ichika has to be connected to a so-called ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation). ECMO is a quasi-modified and miniaturized heart-lung machine, which was necessary for her to support heart and lung function. At this time, the medical team in Hokkaido is already planning her transport to the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center in Osaka, 1600 kilometers away. But in Hokkaido there is a huge snowstorm and the airport is closed. The journey becomes an odyssey. Finally, the Japanese Coast Guard brings Ichika to Osaka with a propeller plane. Ichika suffers a stroke during the flight.
A few days later, Ichika is implanted with the EXCOR® Pediatric as a left-ventricular assist device (LVAD). The EXCOR® gives Ichika the chance to bridge the waiting time for a donor heart.

The parents and also the medical team breathe a sigh of relief, Ichika's physical condition stabilizes. She also recovers well from her stroke and fortunately remains free of any consequential damage. Ichika' s parents are greatly relieved: "I feel nothing but gratitude for the life-saving support of our daughter through EXCOR® Pediatric. Ichika's condition is improving day by day, she jumps on her bed, she learns to speak and is developing very well", says Ichika's mother. 

The case of the little Ichika is special in every respect. Just like the stories of all the other 2499 children with heart disease who have been treated with the EXCOR® Pediatric since 1990.

"In total 2500 children worldwide have already been given a chance for a hopeful future with the EXCOR® Pediatric. Berlin Heart is always engaged in improving the lives of children with heart failure," says Dr. med. Ares K. Menon, Managing Director Berlin Heart GmbH.

The system was once developed in cooperation with the German Heart Center Berlin, and to this day, the continuous improvement of the ventricular assist devices is the top priority of Berlin Heart. That is why about 40% of the annual turnover is currently invested in research and development projects. The motivation is to give children the chance of a healthy life.

One of these projects is the development of the new EXCOR® Active driving unit, which enables Berlin Heart to achieve a further milestone in the care of children with heart disease. EXCOR® Active is smaller, quieter and more mobile than its previous model. The new driving unit will give children suffering from heart disease the mobility, that is so important for the their development.

More information here:https://www.berlinheart.de/en/medical-professionals/excorr-active/

About Berlin Heart
Berlin Heart GmbH develops, manufactures, and markets innovative ventricular assist devices (VADs) for mechanical circulatory support. With the EXCOR® Adult and the EXCOR® Pediatric, Berlin Heart is the only company in the world able to provide support to patients of every age and size, from infants to adults.
Berlin Heart’s systems provide left ventricular, right ventricular, or biventricular support (both sides); hospitals around the world use the system for short-, medium-, and long-term circulatory support, providing patients with a life-saving treatment option.
Users can also access round-the-clock medical and technical support.

The access to some or all shown products may be restricted by country-specific regulatory approvals. The use of EXCOR® VAD for adults, RVAD-support, Excor mobile and EXCOR® Active is not FDA-approved.


Theresa Tolle
Marketing & Public Relations 
Berlin Heart GmbH
Wiesenweg 10
12247 Berlin
Tel. 030 8187 2600