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- 1920s – Rheumatic Fever CHOP has been at the forefront of research breakthroughs and medical and surgical interventions in cardiac care, starting with studies of rheumatic fever in the 1920s.
- 1937 - Creation of a Diagnostic ProgramRachel Ash, MD, was the first Chief of Pediatric Cardiology at CHOP. In 1947 she became the Director of the Cardiology Program, establishing a diagnostic service for children with cardiovascular anomalies.
- 1964 - Balloon Catheter InventedWilliam Rashkind, MD, “father of interventional cardiology,” invented the balloon catheter, enabling first non-surgical treatments for certain heart defects.
- 1990 - Heart TransplantThe Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia performed its first heart transplant. Since then, the Heart-Lung Transplant Program has become one of the largest in the world.
- 1994 - State of the Art CICUCHOP’s Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) – one of the largest and most advanced in the world – is designed and staffed to care for children during the most intense period of their treatment.
- 1995 - First Heart-Lung TransplantDr. Thomas Spray, Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at CHOP, performed the Hospital’s first heart-lung transplant. CHOP’s Heart-Lung Transplant program is world recognized for its outcomes, clinical excellence and comprehensive approach to care.
- 1998 - Creation of a CenterThe Cardiac Center was created to officially integrate Surgery, Nursing, Anesthesia and Cardiology, emphasizing the multidisciplinary approach vital to patient care. It has since grown to become one of the largest programs, with outcomes among the best in the world.
- 2001 - Fetal Heart ProgramOne of the largest programs of its kind, our internationally renowned Fetal Heart Program was created to offer expert evaluation and diagnosis for congenital heart defects prior to a baby's birth, as well as delivery and care after birth. We offer the expertise needed to make a true difference in the lives of expectant parents and their babies, like Danny (shown here), cared for at CHOP since before birth.
- 2004 - Genetic ResearchCardiac research received a five-year, $19-million award to allow CHOP investigators to translate their research on the genetic causes of congenital heart abnormalities into practical treatments.
- 2005 - Adult Congenital Heart CenterUnites the breadth of resources from two premier institutions, CHOP and Penn Medicine, to offer comprehensive care for the growing population of adults living with congenital heart disease, like Marla (shown here), who has been cared for at CHOP since infancy and is now a CICU nurse at CHOP.
- 2008 - Expanded FacilitiesThe Cardiac Operative and Imaging Complex features the most advanced technology, exclusively for cardiac patients, such as this adjoining catheterization lab/MRI suite - one of the first in the nation.
- 2008 - Special Delivery Unit The SDU is the first birth facility in the world exclusively for mothers carrying babies with known birth defects. Here, babies born with a life threatening heart defect can be delivered and cared for without leaving the sixth floor, with mother and family nearby.
- 2009 - NeuroCardiac ProgramThe NCCP provides screening, evaluation and ongoing coordinated care for children with complex congenital heart defects, who are at risk for neurodevelopmental issues.
- 2010 - Research to TreatmentsRobert Levy, MD, co-founded CHOP’s first start-up company to develop his lab discoveries into viable treatments for peripheral artery disease (PAD). Dr. Levy’s research has focused on improving outcomes for the thousands of children born with congenital heart defects each year.
- 2010 - Single Ventricle ProgramThe program was created specifically to meet the unique needs, improve quality of life and find new treatments for the growing number of survivors living with single ventricle conditions.
- 2011 - Sudden Cardiac ArrestVictoria Vetter, MD, led a pilot study in healthy children and adolescents that showed it was feasible to screen for undiagnosed heart conditions that increase the risk of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). Sudden cardiac arrest affects approximately 1,000 children and adolescents every year in the United States.
- Congenital Heart DiseaseEach year, 1 out of every 120 babies is born with some type of congenital heart defect. The Cardiac Center has been at the forefront of research, education, early diagnosis and treatment of children with CHD. Learn about CHD and how you can become an advocate»
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For over 90 years, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia has been dedicated to pioneering treatments to help children born with congenital heart defects survive, and thrive. The Cardiac Center is an international leader in cardiac care from prenatal diagnosis to adulthood. Our patients and their families are the inspiration behind our growth and improvements. Each day we provide hope for hearts.