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Brenner Children's Heart Program

Tamaney SmartOverview

Brenner Children’s Heart program is dedicated to excellent patient-centered care. We have assembled experts from all over the country to provide our families with options that are state-of-the-art. We support a culture that promotes collaborative, multidisciplinary care across the entire spectrum of care providers.
 
Brenner Children’s Heart Program consists of surgeons, cardiologists, pediatric cardiac anesthesiologists and a dedicated pediatric perfusion team. Our team combines experience, nationally recognized expertise, and dedicated pediatric cardiac care.

What should you look for when choosing a children’s heart care center?

 
There are numerous questions that families can ask to better understand the nature of the institution where they are seeking care. 

Surgery

  • How long has the surgeon been in practice?
  • Does the surgeon practice primarily in the field of congenital heart surgery
  • Is the surgeon a member of the Congenital Heart Surgeons Society?
  • Is the surgeon certified as a congenital heart surgeon by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery?
  • Is there more than one fully trained surgeon in the program who is dedicated to pediatric cardiac surgery?
  • Do they ever work together?
  • Does the surgeon work frequently with the same team of OR nurses?
  • Is the surgeon willing to help you get another opinion if you want one? 

Pediatric Cardiology

  • Are there dedicated specialist cardiologists for imaging (echo / MRI), cardiac cath / intervention, electrophysiology, intensive care?
  • Does the cardiology team perform routine transesophageal echo in the operating room, and if so, are the echos performed by echo specialists, or by cardiologists who are generalists?
  • Does a multidisciplinary group discuss patients prior to surgery? Who is generally in attendance? 

Intensive Care

  • Are intensive care physicians in the ICU 24/7, or do they take call from home
  • Does the ICU make multidisciplinary rounds involving members of the health care team from surgery, cardiology, critical care, nursing and respiratory care?
  • Does the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit practice Family Centered Care?
  • Are babies cared for in a pediatric unit, or are they in the same unit as adult cardiac patients?
  • Are any of the intensivists specialized in postoperative cardiac care?
  • Is there an ECMO program and if so, how often do surgical patients need to be placed on post operative ECMO?
  • What are the visiting hours for parents in the ICU? 

Anesthesiology

  • Is pediatric cardiac anesthesia provided a small group dedicated to pediatric cardiac procedures, or do the anesthesiologists come from a “pool” of anesthesiologist?
  • Can you meet with and talk with one of the anesthesiologists prior to your child’s surgery? 

Perfusion

  • Is perfusion (heart lung machine operation) performed by perfusionists who specialize in pediatric cardiac perfusion?