Why Choose the Heart Failure and Transplant Program

Our multidisciplinary team

We take a collaborative, family-centered approach to caring for children with heart failure. Your child’s healthcare team will include:

  • Cardiologists
  • Surgeons
  • Cardiac anesthesiologists
  • Intensive care physicians
  • Nurses and nurse practitioners
  • Heart transplant physicians
  • Rehabilitation physicians
  • Nutritionists
  • Physical and occupational therapists

The members of this team work together to ensure that every patient receives the most appropriate care for their stage of heart failure.

Organ donor awareness

While we have no way of knowing how long your child will have to wait for a compatible heart, you should know that organ donation awareness is high in the Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware region, due largely to effective education by state governments. In fact, Gift of Life, the organ procurement organization for this region, has the highest procurement rate in the nation.

State-of-the-art facilities

After your child's heart transplant, your child will be cared for in CHOP’s Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU), one of the nation's largest and best-equipped CICUs. The unit's highly experienced critical care staff is specifically trained in the care of transplant patients — as well as a variety of other critically ill children with heart disease — and works closely with the transplant team on its daily rounds.

When it’s time to leave the CICU, your child will be transferred to the Cardiac Care Unit (CCU), where the nursing staff also has special training in care for patients who have received a heart transplant. Our specialists will also consult with your child's pediatrician or family doctor regularly and provide updates on your child's progress.

Expertise with complex conditions

Treating advanced heart failure in congenital heart disease (CHD) is one of the greatest challenges in pediatric cardiology — and we have a program dedicated to meeting that challenge. The Advanced Cardiac Therapies for Heart Failure Patients (ACT-HF) program provides children with advanced heart failure the full continuum of care, through rehabilitation, ventricular assist device (VAD) implantation, heart transplant and beyond. The ACT-HF team members are international leaders in advanced heart failure and innovative care for children with cardiomyopathy and complex congenital heart disease. With a depth of medical and surgical expertise, our heart failure team is one of the most experienced in the country, pioneering innovative mechanical circulatory support to improve post-transplant outcomes. Our multidisciplinary experts include a highly published research team dedicated to the development of targeted medical therapies aimed at preventing and treating heart failure.

Next-generation technology

CHOP is one of the first pediatric transplant centers to adapt a groundbreaking technology for organ procurement and transplant that allows the donated organ to thrive outside of the body and therefore travel longer distances with greater opportunity for successful transplant.

Family-centered care

Transitioning to a circulatory support device or heading home after a heart transplant can be a scary and difficult experience for children and their family members. CHOP’s child life experts and social workers support patients and their families. Our team provides education and training to families to help make the transition as smooth as possible.

We can also help you address practical matters, such as dealing with the financial issues related to transplant and follow-up care. If you have any concerns about your child's care, please don't hesitate to ask any transplant team member.