23/05/2012 08:27 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Baby Receives World's Smallest Artificial Heart Transplant

Baby receives world's smallest artificial heart transplant Rex

A baby was implanted with the world's smallest artificial heart to keep it alive until a donor became available.

Doctors in Italy carried out the incredible procedure on a 16 month-old child in Italy allowing the infant to survive for 13 days before it received a real donated heart.

"In March, the smallest artificial heart in the world was implanted at the Bambino Gesu Hospital in Rome," said hospital official Antonio Amodeo.

"The device, a titanium pump weighing only 11 grams and that can endure a flow of up to 1.5 litres per minute, was used in an emergency case of a 16-month-old infant suffering from dilated myocardiopathy with a serious infection of the ventricular assistance device that had been implanted previously.

"At present, at more than one month from the surgery, the infant is in good health."

The baby's name or sex has not been revealed.