Of Tiny, Mighty Hearts and Limitless Possibilities

Minimally-invasive devices alleviate the risks of congenital heart disease and the need for heart surgery.

Healthy Heart|Apr.05, 2023

There's no limit to the potential a life holds. Every child deserves to explore the endless possibilities the world has to offer, to live life to their heart’s content. But what happens when the heart itself doesn’t work as it should, and is in need of a little extra help?

Over 2,00,000 babies are born with congenital heart disease every year in India, with about 1 in 5 requiring medical intervention. Congenital heart defects can range from small defects that correct themselves over time to ones that require timely medical intervention like Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA). Fortunately, health technology today is making it possible to manage congenital heart issues and ensure that these conditions don't become lifelong limitations, empowering you to live fully. Innovations like transcatheter occlusion devices have been a breakthrough in the treatment of PDA and present a minimally invasive option for the tiniest of hearts.

PDA: A large need for the littlest ones

So what exactly is PDA? While babies are in the womb, they are able to absorb oxygen-rich blood, straight into their hearts bypassing their lungs, from their mother through a blood channel called ductus arteriosus At birth, every newborn has a hole (due to the blood channel) in their heart, which should naturally shut a few days after birth, after which the heart and lungs take over. But for babies with Patent Ductus Arteriosus this hole doesn't close properly, potentially leading to severe complications and a range of symptoms such as inhibited growth, feeding problems, shortness of breath etc. With premature babies being more at risk to develop PDA, invasive surgery is not always a viable option. Cardiac catheterization can present a much less invasive alternative to riskier surgery.

Innovations for growing hearts with big potential

Sometimes the largest and most impactful health tech innovations come in the most minute of forms. 

Transcatheter occlusion devices, usually inserted through a vein in the leg and guided through vessels to the heart, help seal the opening between the two blood vessels leading from the heart, enabling the closure of the PDA. Especially designed for newborn and premature babies, the occluder is small enough to even be used for babies weighing as little as 700 grams. The procedure is a minimally invasive corrective treatment option for children that are considered too high risk for surgery or are non-responsive to medications. Innovations in healthcare today, like transcatheter occlusion devices, provide a range of long-term health benefits, help reduce complications from congenital issues and open the doors to healthier, happier futures for lives that have just begun.

Health tech today has the power to make a life-saving difference, to breathe life into all those possibilities out there... from birth itself and much beyond. Transcatheter occlusion devices are one such breakthrough bringing the promise of a hopeful and empowering future, giving babies what their hearts need, to become all that their hearts desire; a future that allows each heart to dream limitlessly and discover its highest potential!

Disclaimer: The information mentioned in this document is only suggestive /for patient education and shall not be considered as a substitute for doctor’s advice or recommendations from Abbott. Please consult your doctor for more information.