Patch helps kids with heart defects


A new super-durable heart patch, made in Australia, will significantly improve the lives of children born with heart defects.

Allied Healthcare Group has spent a decade developing the patch, which mimics human tissue.

Bianca Britton reports.

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The super-durable heart patch, made from cow heart membrane mimics human tissue and at this stage is used to help children with congenital heart defects.

Now surgeons at Brisbane’s Mater Children’s Hospital have used the technique successfully, three times this week.

Professor Tom Karl, Children’s Cardiac Surgeon: “We think we can predict a good result in the great majority of cases.”

One in every 100 Australian children are born with a congenital heart defect. It’s hoped this new medical breakthrough will eliminate risk of needing revision surgery later in life.

For children with congenital heart defects, the heart patch technique has the potential to end the trauma of open heart surgey.

Four-year-old Benjamin was born with a back to front heart, and has had open-heart surgery three times.

While it’s not certain whether the technique will work for him, his mother says anything that prevents the need for open heart surgery is a good thing.

Melissa Simpson, Mother: “Anything that can prevent you from having to do that over and over again is fantastic, and it’s something that can offer hope.”

Allied Healthcare researchers are also looking to expand the use of the heart patch tissue to help adults.

Lee Rodne, Managing Director, Allied Healthcare Group: “We expect to come out with some very positive and interesting data on heart valve repair in the next quarter.”

The company plans to market the heart patch in the United States and Europe once it gets approval.

Bianca Britton, QUT News.