Fetal Cardiology at the Colorado Institute for Maternal and Fetal Health

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Fetal cardiologists from the Heart Institute at Children’s Colorado stand as integral members of the Colorado Institute for Maternal and Fetal Health team. Trained in both pediatric and fetal cardiology, our physicians and fetal specialists use state-of-the-art technology to detect heart defects as early as 14 weeks gestation.

From late in the first trimester until a baby goes home, the Fetal Cardiology Unit provides multidisciplinary collaboration between fetal cardiology caregivers and the maternal, perinatal and neonatal experts found at Children’s Hospital Colorado and University of Colorado Hospital. The team works closely with the fetal surgery team and the maternal-fetal medicine team to care for fetuses not only with cardiac defects, but also with other congenital abnormalities that may affect the cardiovascular system.

What is congenital heart disease?

Congenital heart disease is the most common abnormality in an unborn child, occurring in approximately one out of every 100 babies, and includes structural heart defects, abnormal cardiac rhythm and heart failure. We are committed to providing compassionate and comprehensive fetal cardiac evaluations from 14-40 weeks of gestation.

How do our experts provide care for heart defects?

From the time of diagnosis until a baby returns home, experts in fetal cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery, maternal fetal medicine and neonatal medicine collaborate to ensure the very best care – before and after birth. In addition to medical expertise, family support groups and social services are available to provide emotional support, which is so critical during this time.

What we offer

Our Fetal Cardiology program has some of the best patient outcomes of any pediatric hospital in the nation
•   Our excellent patient outcomes are a result of having a highly-trained team of specialists.

We are nationally recognized for our outstanding surgical outcomes
•   Our outcomes are consistently better than the national average, compared to outcome data analyzed by the Society of Thoracic Surgery.
•   Our neonatal mortality is less than half of expected, based on the Society of Thoracic Surgery average.
•   Children’s Colorado Heart Institute outcomes are better in all categories of surgical risk when compared to the national average
•   Our post-operative length of stay is consistently lower than the STS average.

We provide more than 20 specialized programs for all types of congenital and  acquired congenital heart conditions

An important aspect of the care we provide is ensuring our patients and families have an excellent experience
•   Over 96% of our patient’s or family’s believe that we provide “very good” or “excellent” care.

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We perform more than 800 heart catheterizations each year, and many defects that once required open-heart surgery can now be corrected in the cath lab

Our team of surgeons perform more than 500 heart surgeries per year
•   In 2014, over 50% of the surgeries we performed were on patients less than 1 year old.

Our inpatient care team has been providing the highest quality care to critically ill cardiac patients for nearly a decade
•   From 2013 to 2014 we reduced the number of hospital acquired safety events by 20%.
•   In 2014, our cardiac ICU had only 1 central line associated blood stream infection out of 3,387 line days.
•   In 2014, our cardiac ICU reintubation rates were below 1%.

We are transforming Pediatric Cardiology through innovative research
•   Our fetal cardiology team is investigating interventions to detect fetal arrhythmias earlier in gestation.

The fetal cardiology team works closely with the Colorado Fetal Care Center and high risk obstetric providers to offer care for fetuses not only with cardiac defects, but with other congenital abnormalities that may affect the cardiovascular system. After three months, babies will become patients within our nationally ranked Heart Institute.

The Heart Institute at Children's Hospital Colorado

Our fetal cardiology facilities are housed in Children’s Colorado, which U.S. News & World Report and Parents magazine continually recognize as one of the nation’s top ten Best Children’s Hospitals.

The Heart Institute at Children’s Colorado offers:
•   A 16-bed Cardiac Intensive Care Unit
•   A 20-bed step-down Cardiac Progressive Care Unit
•   2 dedicated Cardiac Operating Rooms
•   2 Cardiac Catheterization Labs
•   A Pediatric Electrophysiology Lab
•   Comprehensive cardiac imaging services

Our cardiologists are trained in all of the following specializations:
•   Adult congenital heart disease
•   Acquired heart disease (Kawasaki, rheumatic fever)
•   Cardiac catheterization
•   Cardiac intensive care
•   Cardiomyopathy/heart failure
•   Cardiac genetics
•   Comprehensive cardiac imaging
•   Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)
•   Electrophysiology
•   Exercise physiology
•   Heart transplant
•   Preventative cardiology (hypertension and hyperlipidemia)
•   Pulmonary hypertension