updated 4/13/2004 12:37:31 PM ET 2004-04-13T16:37:31

A 6-year-old Houston girl who became the first patient in the world to receive a DeBakey child heart pump has died.

  1. Don't miss these Health stories
    1. Splash News
      More women opting for preventive mastectomy - but should they be?

      Rates of women who are opting for preventive mastectomies, such as Angeline Jolie, have increased by an estimated 50 percent in recent years, experts say. But many doctors are puzzled because the operation doesn't carry a 100 percent guarantee, it's major surgery -- and women have other options, from a once-a-day pill to careful monitoring.

    2. Larry Page's damaged vocal cords: Treatment comes with trade-offs
    3. Report questioning salt guidelines riles heart experts
    4. CDC: 2012 was deadliest year for West Nile in US
    5. What stresses moms most? Themselves, survey says

Anna Grudziecke died Sunday at Texas Children’s Hospital, according to her physician, Dr. Charles D. Fraser Jr. She received the pump late last month.

Although it didn’t keep Grudziecke alive long enough to receive a transplant, Fraser said he still believes the child-sized pump holds much promise for youngsters with failing hearts.

“This experience with the device has left us emboldened about using it going forward,” Fraser said in a story in Monday night’s online edition of the Houston Chronicle.

The DeBakey ventricular assist device for children helps weakened hearts pump blood throughout the patient’s body by supplementing the pumping ability of the left ventricle, the main pumping chamber of the heart.

Grudziecke's heart muscle had thickened, causing it to stiffen and deteriorate.

Adult patients have survived for more than a year with the DeBakey heart pump. It has been implanted into more than 200 patients.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments