An experimental heart valve saves a child with H1N1

Swine flu hazard signThe Wall Street Journal features a story about a Children’s Hospital Boston patient with congenital heart disease who was stricken with H1N1 and required a new heart valve. Because the boy was too sick to undergo open-heart surgery, James Lock, MD, led a team that implanted the new valve using a catheter. Lock and Peter Laussen, MD, chief of cardiovascular critical care at Children’s, talk about how H1N1 presents a serious problem for children with heart disease.

Last week, a multicenter study led by Children’s reported good preliminary results in 30 patients receiving this catheter-implanted valve, which is threaded up a leg vein to the heart.