Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital, one of the three children’s research hospitals in Italy has accomplished a feat that anyone in the world would be proud of. The doctors in this hospital have implanted an artificial heart that weighs just 11 grams in an infant. This is the world's smallest heart ever implanted that helped in continuing the life functions of the baby for 13 days until an alternate organ was found for implant. The doctors have shown promise that the technology in future could help prolong life of those suffering from heart diseases by replacing it with one such prosthetic heart for lifetime.
The identity of the baby hasn't been disclosed, though doctors did reveal that he/she was under their supervision in an intensive care unit for treatment of dilated myocardiopathy- a disease which witnesses enlargement of heart and hinders pumping of blood in the body. Apparently, the disease accounts for 50-60 percent of children suffering from heart-related diseases. The 11 grams heart pumps about 1.5 liters of blood per minute, though to operate on adults the size needs to be upscaled to 900 grams. The only twist in the tail was that doctors had to take permission of Robert Jarvik, the inventor of the prosthetic heart (known for his Jarvik-7 artificial heart) as well as the health ministry in Italy.
The operation was not easy though as the child had been operated a couple of times before and the doctors were making way to the left ventricle for the third time. The baby weighed 5.5 kg at the time of the operation.