PICCOLO OCCLUDER HONORED FOR INNOVATION

Chicago Innovation Awards honors revolutionary occluder for helping preemie babies with congenital heart defects.

heart health

Oct 29 2019

For the 10th time in its 18 years, the Chicago Innovation Awards have honored Abbott among the leaders in creating technology that’s changing the world.

This time around, our Amplatzer Piccolo™ Occluder has been recognized.

As you might guess from it's name, our Piccolo Occluder is small. It's smaller than a pea. But for the tiniest patients who need it, it makes a huge difference in their lives.

How?

By closing the connection between two blood vessels leading from the heart of preemie babies called a patent ductus arterios (PDA), the harmful back flow of blood into the premature lungs is blocked and the babies can then breathe more easily and get off the ventilator that is keeping them alive. It is delivered to the heart via a catheter, enabling doctors to treat PDA without subjecting babies to open chest surgery.

About 12,000 premature babies born in the U.S. each year suffer from an enlarged PDA. About 36,000 kids in Europe are born with the condition. With recent governmental approvals, Piccolo is available to help more children around the world.

"Piccolo is among the best examples of Abbott’s promise to help people live their fullest lives — in this case, young babies and children for whom this treatment is nothing short of miraculous," said Michael Dale, vice president of Abbott’s structural heart division.

Irie Faulkner was one of those children.

When she and her twin brother Judah were born prematurely at 27 weeks, their parents knew the first few months wouldn't be easy.

While the twins were fighting for their lives in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), hooked up on ventilators, an echocardiogram showed Irie’s PDA in her heart had grown too large.

A Piccolo Occluder successfully closed her PDA. Within three days, Irie was able to breathe on her own, taken off the ventilator. Now she’s home, growing and thriving.

"You have to live it to fully appreciate what that device did for our daughter," said Matt, Irie's dad.

The Chicago Innovation Awards see it, as did nearly 1,500 business and civic leaders and supporters of innovation in attendance at Chicago’s Harris Theater on Monday.

"450 organizations were nominated for this year's awards," said Luke Tanen, Executive Director of the Chicago Innovation Awards. "As a group, these nominees generated the creation of 1001 patents. The 25 winners represent the best from this very impressive group."

This isn't the first time Abbott has been honored by the Chicago Innovation Awards, including:

For important safety information about Amplatzer Piccolo™ Occluder, please click here.

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Michael Dale, vice president of Abbott’s structural heart division

“Piccolo is among the best examples of Abbott’s promise to help people live their fullest lives — in this case, young babies and children for whom this treatment is nothing short of miraculous.” 

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