February 8, 2012 — Every year, more than a million children worldwide are born with congenital heart disease (CHD), and for more than 90 years, physician-scientists at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia have pioneered treatments for these children. The many children, teenagers and young adults, who are now breaking new ground as survivors of heart defects that were once lethal in infancy, are inspiring examples of the advances in cardiology research and care.
Today, the Cardiac Center at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia kicks off Congenital Heart Disease Awareness Month, inviting families and individuals whose lives have been touched by congenital heart disease to educate, advocate, donate and participate in supporting public awareness and research efforts.
“Congenital heart disease is the most common birth defect, but many think only of heart disease that is acquired in adulthood,” said Robert Shaddy, MD, chief of the division of Cardiology at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “Congenital Heart Disease Awareness Month brings pediatric issues to the forefront, and is an opportunity to celebrate the advances that have been made in the field. We are also urging people to raise funds for more research and advocate for important issues to help children with the most vulnerable little hearts.”
CHOP Cardiac Center key location for CHD treatment
The Cardiac Center at CHOP is one of the largest in the world dedicated to caring for patients of all ages with CHD. It provides 24,000 outpatient visits, 1,500 inpatient admissions, more than 1,000 cardiac catheterizations and more than 900 surgical procedures annually. The Cardiac Center offers the most sophisticated surgical and interventional treatments available for children with heart defects.
Babies who are prenatally diagnosed with a congenital heart defect may be delivered in the Garbose Family Special Delivery Unit at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the world’s first delivery unit exclusively for babies with congenital conditions. The Philadelphia Adult Congenital Heart Center, a joint venture between Children’s Hospital and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, offers expert care for adults living with congenital heart defects.
The Cardiac Center staff team includes pediatric and adult cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, pediatric cardiac anesthesiologists, cardiac nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, social workers, respiratory therapists, child life specialists, operating room technicians and many others — all committed to providing a continuum of care for patients with CHD from before birth through adulthood.
Children’s Hospital has created a customizable toolkit to help families and individuals give Hope for Hearts. The downloadable toolkit includes tips on how to raise awareness about CHD by sharing a story or promoting a fundraising event with the media, reaching out to legislators or writing an editorial for the local newspaper. The toolkit helps our care providers to partner with our families and the larger community to increase awareness of congenital heart disease.
Join The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in giving Hope for Hearts this month. Educate. Advocate. Donate. Participate. Visit the Cardiac Center for the tool kit and learn more ways to give hope for hearts.
Joey McCool Ryan, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, 267-426-6070 or McCool@email.chop.edu