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Grapes Stand In for Preemie’s Heart in Amazing Operation — Dave’s Diary

Ian Forsyth/Getty Images

Science tells us the resveratrol in purple grapes is good for the heart.  Now an amazing story out of California where a grape really did save a heart…check this out!

Surgeons in Los Angeles performed a life-saving procedure on a tiny fetus inside a mother’s womb after practicing a few times on a grape and a jelly mold. The doctors practiced a few times with a model of Jell-O and a grape, the grape standing in for the heart and the Jell-O standing in for the surrounding body.

The team of doctors used a wire the width of a hair, a balloon just a few millimeters wide and a needle measuring 11 centimeters to open up a narrow aortic valve in the walnut-sized heart of a 25-week-old fetus still growing in its mother.  The operation was performed at the CHA Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles, with the mother sedated.

The baby was given anesthesia and a muscle relaxant so it wouldn’t switch positions. The procedure was the first of its kind in Southern California and the doctors relied on ultrasound imaging to see what they were doing…amazing!


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