Slower can be better

Reducing radiation exposure during heart catheterization procedures

cardiac cath reducing radiationA cardiac catheterization is a procedure performed by a cardiologist to diagnose and often treat heart conditions. Many patients with congenital heart disease require cardiac catheterizations. During catheterization procedures, we use fluoroscopy to obtain real-time moving images of your heart.

Fluoroscopy is basically a series of x-rays that are played very quickly. It’s similar to how movies work – when the still images are played back quickly, they produces a moving image.

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Finding better ways to compare pediatric heart care quality

comparing pediatric heart care qualityThe fields of pediatric cardiology and cardiac surgery have come a long way. Today, conditions that were universally fatal as recent as 30 years ago can now be successfully treated, allowing children with congenital heart disease to thrive into adulthood.

However, we also know that there is much more work to be done to ensure that all children with heart disease have access to the highest quality care. One thing that is important is to be able to identify and learn from those hospitals with the best outcomes who are providing the highest pediatric heart care quality to children with heart disease.

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3-stars for pediatric heart care

Mott Children’s Hospital awarded highest quality rating by our peers

3-star STS ratingWhen it comes to making decisions, the sad truth is it may seem easier for parents to choose a car seat, a refrigerator, even a house – than it is to feel like they’re making an informed decision about where to seek health care.

Making a decision about a hospital to literally entrust with your child’s heart can feel especially intimidating.

That’s why we’re particularly proud of having been awarded the Society of Thoracic Surgeons’ highest designation for pediatric heart surgery programs – the prestigious 3-star rating.

What does the 3-star designation mean?

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The heart of a fighter: Dan’s story

After three heart surgeries, hospice, a stroke and heart transplant, rehab has helped bring Dan back on track to attend college

A long way from being placed in hospice at age 2. Dan, 19, graduates from high school this year.

A long way from being placed in hospice at age 2. Dan, 19, is planning to attend college soon.

The Pediatric NeuroRehabilitation program at Milestones is celebrating 25 years of service. Mary Foy shares how her son Daniel has faced numerous challenges in his life, but thanks to his time at Milestones, he’s preparing to attend college next year.

Many parents talk about the whirlwind of emotion surrounding the day of their first baby’s birth and our story was no exception. Within hours of experiencing the joy and excitement of finally meeting our firstborn, blue-eyed baby boy Dan, I learned he had a serious heart condition that could kill him.

Dan had what’s called hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a rare congenital heart defect that occurs when parts of the left side of the heart don’t completely develop. At four days old, instead of coming home, he was undergoing his first open-heart surgery at University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.

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Show us your art, and help Save A Heart!

save a heart - call for artists facebookWe have big plans in store for this year’s annual Save A Heart celebration, and we need your help!

Part of this year’s celebration will be a one-of-a-kind art display and auction to raise funds for the important work made possible through our Save A Heart fund. Your Little Victor could be one of our featured artists!

To be considered for one of a limited number of selected artist roles, please email a sample of your child’s artwork to dawilkin@med.umich.edu by August 22. Please include the child’s full name, age, and up to 75 words about your child’s CHD journey. You can send a scanned in image of your child’s artwork or a photo of your child’s artwork.

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Transition Readiness for Congenital Heart Disease Patients

Children born with congenital heart disease are thriving thanks to advances in diagnosis and treatment. Currently, 85 to 90 percent of these patients survive into adulthood. That’s great news. Unfortunately, studies have shown that as many as 50 to 75 percent of these patients fail to follow up with their care as they become adults and are then more likely to be admitted to the emergency room with urgent problems.

We studied 165 patients from 13- to 25-years-old to assess their readiness to transition to adult care. Patients completed a Transition Readiness Assessment and Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory using an e-tablet. For patients under age 18, we also had a parent complete a Transition Readiness Assessment that helps us better understand the parent’s perceptions of the child’s transition knowledge and behavior.

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