Children’s Hospital New Orleans Pediatric Cardiology
Heart health services for children & adolescents
The Cardiology Department of The Heart Center at Children’s Hospital provides comprehensive evaluation and treatment of children and adults with a full range of cardiovascular conditions, from clinic consultations for innocent heart murmurs to intensive care of critically ill patients with complex congenital heart disease.
Common conditions treated in the heart center:
- Heart murmurs
- Syncope (fainting)
- Chest pain
- Palpitations or irregular heart rhythms
- Heart failure and cardiomyopathies
- Congenital heart defects
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
In addition to the services provided at Children’s Hospital, the cardiologists travel to off-site clinics in Covington, Metairie, Marrero, Baton Rouge, Eunice, Houma, and Thibodaux. They also provide expert interpretations of echocardiograms and electrocardiograms (EKGs) from a number of referral centers around the state and provide telemedicine consultations for patients in remote locations.
Cardiology fellowship program
Through The Heart Center’s partnership with LSU Health New Orleans, Children’s Hospital has the only pediatric cardiology fellowship training program in Louisiana. This provides interested general pediatricians the specialized training needed to become successful pediatric cardiologists. In addition, LSU Health medical students and residents receive training in the diagnosis and management of heart disease in children.
The Children’s Hospital Department of Cardiology is proud to provide the following services to its patients:
Advanced, invasive diagnostic and interventional procedures are performed in a specialized digital biplane Cardiovascular Catheterization Laboratory. Two pediatric and congenital interventional cardiologists provide expertise in a wide range of diagnostic and interventional procedures, including transcatheter (Melody) valve placement, radiofrequency septal or valve perforations, atrial septal device closures, vessel stenting and coil occlusion, atrial septostomies, and balloon valvuloplasty and angioplasty. They also work collaboratively with our surgeons to provide “hybrid” procedures when clinically indicated.
The Heart Center has an electrophysiologist that provides comprehensive diagnostic and interventional procedures for patients with heart rhythm abnormalities, including Holter and event monitoring, implantable loop recorders, exercise stress testing, implantation and monitoring of pacemakers and defibrillators (AICDs), as well as electrophysiology studies and ablation procedures. The center also provides an in-depth evaluation of patients with a family history of sudden cardiac death or familial dysrhythmias.
Heart Failure/Cardiomyopathy Program
The heart failure/cardiomyopathy program is part of an interdisciplinary
team under our well-established cardiology program at Children's Hospital
New Orleans. Our team consists of board-certified pediatric cardiothoracic
surgeons, pediatric cardiologists, and cardiac specialty nurse practitioners
who are skilled experts in the field of pediatric cardiology. We provide
both inpatient and outpatient consultation for diagnosis, management,
and prognosis of all types of heart failure/cardiomyopathy, some of the
more common forms include failed congenital heart disease repair, primary
and secondary dilated cardiomyopathy, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, restrictive
cardiomyopathy, left ventricular non-compaction, and cardiomyopathy associated
with neurologic/genetic disorders.
Our primary goal is commitment and advocacy for quality pediatric cardiac care. We are dedicated to providing the best quality care for children with potential life-threatening heart disease and giving them the best chance for survival. To deliver this type of quality care, we provide:
Multidisciplinary team approach which includes cardiologists, surgeons, cardiac intensive care specialists, nurse practitioners and nurses
Evidence-based practices, outcomes-based care and advanced research for increasing survival and quality of life in these patient populations
Innovative measures and quality initiatives in diagnosis and management of heart failure and cardiomyopathy patients, such as improving care with mechanical support devices in heart failure and genetic testing for identifying familial disease in cardiomyopathy
Collaboration with other subspecialty disciplines to provide complete care and a medical home or all our patients’ needs
Our team is led by program director, Dr. Tamara Bradford. We are guided by our responsibility to our patients, their outcomes, and their quality of life.
The echocardiography lab is complete with the latest 3-D imaging and advanced technology. More than 5,500 echocardiograms are performed each year at Children’s Hospital, both on hospitalized patients as well as outpatients. This includes fetal echocardiography, 3D echocardiography and transesophageal imaging. Children’s Hospital also provides diagnostic imaging through our Radiology Division, including cardiac MRI and CT angiography.
Maternal-fetal (perinatal) cardiology
The growing Fetal Cardiology Clinic provides expert anatomic and functional assessments of the tiniest of hearts – particularly the fetuses of new mothers with family or personal histories of cardiac defects, rhythm disturbances or other abnormal findings detected by their obstetrician. Detailed consultations help diagnose cardiac abnormalities in utero, and if necessary, prepare the family, the obstetric providers, and The Heart Center team with a delivery and transport plan, hospital tour, information about the baby’s cardiac diagnosis, and a meeting with the cardiac surgeons, when necessary.
The fetal cardiologists work closely with the perinatologists, neonatologists and congenital heart surgeons to provide the highest level of care for babies with a cardiac abnormality during pregnancy, labor and delivery, and in the neonatal period.
Adult congenital heart disease
The Heart Center provides comprehensive and specialized multidisciplinary care for adults with congenital heart disease. The Heart Center at Children’s Hospital is committed to seeing adult patients in clinic and to providing appropriate surgical and interventional procedures as needed throughout their lives.
Pediatric coronary artery disease
The Pediatric Coronary Artery Clinic of the Heart Center is one of only a few pediatric coronary programs in the country and the only program of its kind in the Southeast. The Clinic provides special expertise in the diagnosis and management of pediatric coronary artery disease. Specific conditions that we treat include Kawasaki Disease and congenital problems of the coronary arteries such as abnormal origins or courses of the arteries. The team consists of specialists in pediatric cardiology, preventive cardiology, pediatric cardiovascular surgery, and adult congenital heart disease. Visits consist of a comprehensive evaluation including a thorough history and physical examination, electrocardiogram, and echocardiogram. In many instances, the visit will also included imaging with a CT scan and stress testing. This information is reviewed by the team to arrive at a detailed and comprehensive management plan developed specifically for your child and family.
Home Monitoring Program
Children's Hospital is home to Louisiana’s only interstage home monitoring program. Our team led by Dr. Stefani Samples and Lynn Bardales, RN, remains in direct contact with parents to support and closely monitor our most fragile patients. Our goal is to decrease the number of re-admissions and interstage mortality giving our single ventricle population the best quality of life. Our program is working to become a member of the National Pediatric Cardiology Quality Improvement Collaborative (NPC-QIC). Our Ventricle Interstage Heart Monitoring Program includes:
- Home Trial periods prior to discharge to empower parents and give them the confidence, training & education needed to care for their baby. Parents are taught how to give medications, obtain weights, monitor saturations, keep logs of feedings, weights, saturations, and recognize red flags that indicate a change in the baby’s health status.
Every baby goes home with a pulse oximeter and scale to monitor saturations and weights.
Weekly calls to discuss how each patient is doing, review saturations, feedings, weights, medications and well baby development.
Weekly appointments with their cardiologist for hands on exams.
- Direct communication between the cardiologist, pediatrician, specialists and the interstage team.
Around the clock support from the interstage team.
Monthly appointments with the Neurodevelopmental team.
Coordination of cardiology care, nutritional support, social work, feeding therapy, & neurodevelopmental support.