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Medical devices

Capital Health reference centre for pediatric mechanical heart

EDMONTON – Capital Health has entered into a landmark agreement with Berlin Heart Incorporated. The Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton is now North America’s first training and support centre for the world’s first mechanical heart designed for children, and the sole Canadian centre.

Under the agreement, Stollery physicians will provide training and advice to other children’s hospitals using or planning to use the Berlin Heart across Canada and the western United States.

The Berlin Heart is a life-saving “bridge” for children awaiting a heart transplant, or recovering from heart failure. The device is an external pump that fills in for the child’s heart.

“The addition of the Berlin Heart program builds on our role as a Canadian leader in pediatric cardiac expertise, and our commitment to bring leading-edge care to children and families in Alberta and across western Canada,” said Sheila Weatherill, Capital Health President and CEO.

“The commitment of Capital Health to cardiac sciences and the success of the pediatric cardiac program in particular made the Stollery Children’s Hospital an obvious choice for us,” said Klaus Wurtenberger, CFO, Berlin Heart Inc. “We have full confidence in Capital Health’s pediatric cardiac team to train and provide technical support for their colleagues across North America.”

In July 2005, eight-year-old Brandon Shapland became the first child to receive a Berlin Heart at the Stollery Children’s Hospital. The device was implanted three days before a donor heart became available. To date, ten children in Canada have undergone successful Berlin Heart surgeries, including three at the Stollery Children’s Hospital.

“The Berlin Heart program will add to the expertise and wide range of services available at the Stollery Children’s Hospital and the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute when it opens in 2007,” said Dr. Ivan Rebeyka, Head of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery at the Stollery Children’s Hospital and Clinical Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics, University of Alberta and clinical leader of the Capital Health Berlin Heart program. “The Western Canadian Children’s Heart Network has provided us with a great deal of experience working with other pediatric centres and partners. We are now able to broaden our scope and build on that experience to help even more children.”

About Capital Health
Capital Health in Edmonton is Canada’s largest health region and is affiliated with the University of Alberta, providing integrated health services to one million residents in Edmonton and the surrounding area. Capital Health acts as a referral centre to central and northern Alberta, the North and the Prairies, providing specialized services such as trauma and burn treatment, organ transplants and high-risk obstetrics.