Coronavirus Updates for Cardiac Center Families

As we navigate this challenging, stressful time together, we want you to know that we are here for you. The Cardiac Center is open and ready to continue providing comprehensive, high-quality care to our patients with pediatric and congenital cardiovascular disease.

To date, there is no evidence to suggest that our otherwise healthy patients with repaired congenital heart disease are at an increased risk as compared to the rest of the population. We do know that some of our heart patients are very fragile, and we wish to keep our most vulnerable patients as safe as possible. Many changes have been made in an effort to protect our patients, families and staff; to prioritize the needs of those who may require immediate care; and to support broader public health efforts to reduce opportunities for spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

We are monitoring the situation closely and adapting our policies as needed to ensure the safety of our patients, families and staff. Please note this is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation. We will be updating our community regularly with key information.

Here are some important things to know at this time:

  • In order to better prevent the risk of inadvertent exposure, we have temporarily reduced office hours. All locations are open, but will operate on a rotating schedule.
  • Each individual entering our open clinics will be screened.
  • We are reviewing all scheduled visits and outpatient testing appointments, such as echocardiography and MRIs, in order to determine which appointments can be safely rescheduled. See “Appointments and Procedures” for more information.
  • The Cardiac Center team is working to ensure that all cardiac patient needs — both inpatient and outpatient — are met. This may mean that your child will see a different provider during their visit. The covering provider will have received detailed information about your child and their care. You can trust all clinical team members at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) to take excellent care of your child.

IMPORTANT REMINDER: If you or your child develops a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, contact your medical provider immediately. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your/your child’s symptoms. They will coordinate safe testing and treatment and get you the care you need.

Appointments and Procedures

Elective surgeries/cardiac catherization/testing, admissions and outpatient visits

The safety of our patients, families and staff is our top priority. As part of our efforts to reduce the risk of inadvertent exposure to COVID-19, CHOP is working to reschedule elective surgeries/procedures, hospital admissions and outpatient visits (including echocardiography and MRIs) that can be safely postponed until a later time. This includes visits to our Main Campus, Specialty Care locations and Ambulatory Surgery Centers. At this time, we will be taking these steps for two-week intervals, and will continue to re-evaluate.

  • You do not need to cancel your child’s appointment. The Cardiac Center team is reviewing each patient’s individual needs and scheduled visits to determine which appointments can be safely rescheduled. If we need to cancel or reschedule your upcoming appointment, we will contact you directly.
  • If your clinical team determines that you should be seen as scheduled, your appointment will NOT be rescheduled. However, your appointment may be moved to a different location that is as convenient as possible. If this is the case, we will contact you directly.
  • If you have made a personal decision to reschedule, please contact our scheduling office at 215-590-4040.

We are accepting new patients at this time. There are some cases where a new patient visit might be deferred to a later date. For now, second opinion consultations will be considered on a case-by-case basis. For more information, contact our Cardiac Center referral team at 267-426-9600.

Urgent Care and Emergencies

CHOP’s four pediatric urgent care locations remain open with regular hours. Our Emergency Department (ED) is also open. Please only visit our ED if your child is experiencing a true emergency.

Telehealth Options

CHOP is actively working to expand the use of video visits and other telehealth options as an alternative to some in-person visits when clinically safe and appropriate. Find instructions for getting set up for video visits with a CHOP provider.

We will contact you to discuss options for any upcoming appointments. In the meantime, we encourage you to sign in to your MyCHOP account to ensure you can successfully access your account. If you have questions, or need to sign up for MyCHOP, please call your provider’s office.

Limited Visitation Procedures

Limited visitation procedures are in place for all appointments and hospital visits. Only two healthy parents/patient representatives may accompany a child. Siblings are not permitted, with the exception of breastfeeding infants.

Health screenings will be required for all patients and caregivers. For the safety of our patients and staff, we ask that you answer all questions honestly.

We know this is a challenging time, and we thank you for your understanding and partnership in keeping our patients, families and staff safe.

Helpful Resources

Get the answers to frequently asked questions around COVID-19.

Physical distancing (also called social distancing) is very important to help slow the spread of COVID-19, but it can be particularly hard for children. Watch this short video for helpful tips to make physical distancing more manageable.

Read our Child Life specialists’ tips for talking to children about COVID-19.

If your child’s healthcare provider has recommended COVID-19 testing, read these tips for preparing your child for drive-thru testing.

These are stressful times, and caring for our mental health is critically important. Learn simple strategies to help you and your child cope with stress and anxiety.

Questions?

If you are at all concerned about your child’s condition, please do not hesitate to reach out directly to your child’s cardiologist or primary care physician.

For questions about your office visit, including scheduling or rescheduling, please contact our scheduling center at 215-590-4040.

For questions about all other Cardiac Center care, such as a scheduled surgery, cardiac catheterization, MRI or any other procedure, please contact our referral center at 215-590-6196.


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