Piccolo’s First Preemie, Living Life Fully at 7

"Little Tony" Daly relied on our Amplatzer Piccolo Occluder to close a hole in his heart to grow big and strong.

Piccolo's First Preemie, Living Life Fully at 7

Healthy Heart|Dec.09, 2022

Parenting is full of firsts.

Their first breath. Their first step. Their first full night of sleep. Their first holiday. Making it to their first birthday feels like a triumph.

Anthony and Carrie Daly became first-time parents seven years ago when Anthony Daly IV, aka "Little Tony" — lover of Beyblades, Tom Brady and tennis — was born 14 weeks early.

Under three pounds and only 26 weeks along, Tony had a fight ahead of him.

His parents didn't know for sure that he'd grow up to be the first grader he is today. All they knew was that he was born with a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) — when an opening that allows a mother's oxygenated blood to bypass the lungs and flow directly into her child's heart does not close as it should after birth, inhibiting growth — and his intestines weren't getting enough blood flow.

Tony's doctors knew that they needed to take action.

The standard options at the time were placing a baby on respiratory support to see if the defect sealed on its own or conducting a risky surgical procedure to close the PDA. But Tony's family found hope in the Amplatzer Piccolo Occluder — a minimally invasive treatment for PDA closure in premature infants which at the time was becoming available only through a clinical trial.

Tony's parents were understandably anxious.

"He was no bigger than my hand, and they were going to insert this little device with a catheter through an incision in his leg," Anthony said.

At that point, things had been touch-and-go for some time, and Tony's parents were desperate for any solution. "They don't give you an instruction manual on how to care for a baby at two and a half pounds," Anthony said. "Every day we worried that he wouldn’t make it. When doctors tell you that it’s life or death … "

He trailed off.

So Tony's next "first" would be as patient zero for the use of the Amplatzer Piccolo Occluder for PDA closure in preemies. "This had never been done before. We had to base all of our faith and trust in his doctor, and we did," Carrie said.

And sure enough, Tony received the tiny Piccolo device in his heart.

It worked.

"Instantly after the procedure, his color changed," Anthony said. "Every worry that we had started to subside."

His growth chart steadily increased. His care team let his parents know that he didn't need to see them for regular check-ins anymore. Tony grew into the happy, healthy 7-year-old he is now.

He's still growing. And Tony's Piccolo is still there, functioning as he experiences more "firsts" like his first days of school, first tennis and soccer games and first moments with his baby brother, Colson.

As Tony's parents told him, "this device, this company, helped make you big and strong."

And in 2022, three-year data confirmed the positive impact that our Amplatzer Piccolo Occluder — which is smaller than a pea — has had on premature babies like Tony.

That impact has stayed with Anthony and Carrie. "This device gave us our life as parents. He was our first born," Carrie said. "It gave us everything we have today and set the path for a very fulfilling life."

Firsts can be scary. Unpredictable. Unpromised. And in Tony's case, lifesaving.




The AMPLATZER PiccoloTM Occluder is a percutaneous, transcatheter occlusion device intended for the nonsurgical closure of a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA).



  • Weight < 700 grams at time of the procedure
  • Age < 3 days at time of procedure
  • Coarctation of the aorta
  • Left pulmonary artery stenosis
  • Cardiac output that is dependent on right to left shunt through the PDA due to pulmonary hypertension
  • Intracardiac thrombus that may interfere with the implant procedure
  • Active infection requiring treatment at the time of implant
  • Patients with a PDA length smaller than 3 mm
  • Patients with a PDA diameter that is greater than 4 mm at the narrowest portion


  • This device was sterilized with ethylene oxide and is for single use only. Do not reuse or re-sterilize this device. Attempts to resterilize this device can cause a malfunction, insufficient sterilization, or harm to the patient.
  • Do not use the device if the sterile package is open or damaged.
  • Use on or before the last day of the expiration month that is printed on the product packaging label.
  • Patients who are allergic to nickel can have an allergic reaction to this device.
  • Prepare for situations that require the removal of this device. Preparation includes access to a transcatheter snare kit and an on-site surgeon.
  • Accurate measurements of the ductus are crucial for correct occluder size selection.
  • Do not release the occluder from the delivery wire if either a retention disc protrudes into the pulmonary artery or aorta; or if the position of the occluder is not stable.
  • Remove embolized devices. Do not remove an embolized occluder through intracardiac structures unless the occluder is fully recaptured inside a catheter.


  • This device should be used only by physicians who are trained in standard transcatheter techniques. Determine which patients are candidates for procedures that use this device.
  • The physician should exercise clinical judgment in situations that involve the use of anticoagulants and antiplatelet drugs before, during, and/or after the use of this device.
  • Patients should have an activated clotting time (ACT) of greater than 200 sec prior to device placement, unless the patient has a significant risk for bleeding and is unable to be anti-coagulated.
  • The device may be delivered via an anterograde (venous) or a retrograde (arterial) approach. However, in small infants (≤2 kg), the device should be delivered using the anterograde (venous) approach since small infants are at an increased risk for arterial injury.
  •  The AMPLATZER PiccoloTM Occluder contains nickel-titanium alloy, which is generally considered safe. However, in vitro testing has demonstrated that nickel is released from this device for a minimum of 60 days following implant. Patients who are allergic to nickel may have an allergic reaction to this device, especially those with a history of metal allergies. Certain allergic reactions can be serious; patients should seek immediate medical attention if there is suspicion of an allergic reaction. Symptoms may include difficulty in breathing or swelling of the face or throat. While data are currently limited, it is possible that some patients may develop an allergy to nickel if this device is implanted.
  • Use in specific populations
    • Pregnancy — Minimize radiation exposure to the fetus and the mother.
    • Nursing mothers — There has been no quantitative assessment for the presence of leachables in breast milk.
  • Store in a dry place.
  • Do not use contrast power injection with delivery catheter.



St. Jude Medical’s AMPLATZERTM Duct Occluder II device is manufactured of chemically etched nitinol wire, 80% platinum 20% iridium marker band and a 316L end screw.


Non-clinical testing has demonstrated that the AMPLATZERTM Duct Occluder II device is MR-Conditional. Patients can be scanned safely immediately after implantation under the following conditions:

  • Static magnetic field of 1.5 Tesla (1.5T) or 3.0 Tesla (3.0T).
  • Maximum spatial gradient field less than or equal to 30 T/m.
  • Maximum whole-body-averaged specific absorption rate (SAR) of 2.0 W/kg (normal operating mode) for 15 minutes of scanning.

In non-clinical testing with body coil excitation, the AMPLATZERTM Duct Occluder II device produced a differential temperature rise of less than or equal to 3.65°C when exposed to a maximum average whole body specific absorption rate (SAR) of 2.80 W/kg for 15 minutes of scanning in a 1.5 Tesla MR system (SiemensTM MAGNETOM EspreeTM, SYNGOTM MR B17 software, Erlangen, Germany). Scaling of the SAR and observed heating indicates that average whole body SAR of 2.0 W/kg would be expected to yield a localized temperature rise of less than or equal to approximately 1.0°C in Normal Operating Mode.


MR Image quality may be compromised if the area of interest is the same or relatively close to the position of the device. Therefore, it may be necessary to optimize the MR imaging parameters for the presence of this implant.




Potential adverse events that may occur during or after a procedure placing this device include, but are not limited to:

  • Air embolus
  • Allergic dye reaction
  • Allergic drug reaction
  • Anesthesia reactions
  • Apnea
  • Arrhythmia
  • Bacterial endocarditis
  • Bleeding
  • Cardiac perforation
  • Cardiac tamponade
  • Chest pain
  • Device embolization
  • Device erosion
  • Death
  • Fever
  • Headache/migraine
  • Hemolysis
  • Hematoma
  • Hypertension
  • Hypotension
  • Infection
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Palpitations
  • Partial obstruction of aorta
  • Partial obstruction of pulmonary artery
  • Pericardial effusion
  • Pericarditis
  • Peripheral embolism
  • Pleural effusion
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Re-intervention for device removal
  • Respiratory distress
  • Stroke
  • Thrombus
  • Transient ischemic attack
  • Valvular regurgitation
  • Vascular access site injury
  • Vascular occlusion
  • Vessel perforation