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December 12, 2007

Michigan Congenital Heart Center Fact Sheet

  • The Michigan Congenital Heart Center, based at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, is part of the U-M Cardiovascular Center, and is considered one of the world’s leading centers for children’s heart care.
  • The MCHC team includes pediatric cardiologists, pediatric heart surgeons, specialized nurses and nurse practitioners, social workers, and other professionals, as well as young physicians who are in residency or fellowship training.
  • MCHC provides comprehensive care for children with heart defects that formed in the womb, and for diseases and conditions that arise during childhood and the teen years, such as irregular heart beats, heart-muscle infections, heart failure and problems caused by genetic conditions.
  • Each year, our surgical teams perform more than 800 open-heart operations on infants, children and teens with major heart defects – and achieve a success rate of more than 95 percent. Specially trained cardiologists perform more than 900 catheter-based procedures, including diagnostic tests and specialized treatment for heart rhythm problems and minor defects.
  • The MCHC has its own intensive-care unit in Mott Hospital, with 16 beds devoted to caring for children with heart disease during critical illness or immediately after surgery. As patients recover, specialized MCHC nurses offer care on a Mott inpatient floor.
  • Most outpatient visits and diagnostic tests take place in MCHC’s own clinic area within the Mott building, but MCHC cardiologists also travel regularly to clinic locations at hospitals around the state to assess patients in communities as far away as Petoskey.
  • One of the specialties of the MCHC team is caring for children with hypoplastic left heart syndrome – an especially severe birth defect in which half the heart does not form correctly. It can kill children within a few days of birth if not treated, but the MCHC team is one of the most experienced in the world at delivering the surgical and medical care needed to help the vast majority of children survive. They even assist pregnant women whose ultrasounds have shown they are carrying a fetus with hypoplastic left heart syndrome.
  • Another specialty is the use of advanced technology to support the heart function of children with severe defects and heart failure, or to regulate the heart rhythm.
  • Every year, the MCHC team performs more than a dozen heart transplants in infants and children as young as a few days old.
  • As children with heart conditions grow into adulthood, the MCHC team helps advise their cardiologists on their care, and performs procedures and diagnostic tests.
  • The MCHC team is also a leader in educating young children’s heart specialists, including pediatric cardiologists and pediatric cardiac surgeons.
  • Research is another specialty of the MCHC team. They have formed the Michigan Congenital Heart Outcomes Research & Discovery program to gather and analyze large amounts of data on children’s heart conditions, to help answer important questions about the best approaches to treatment for different conditions. Laboratory-based research looks at the genetic and environmental causes of children’s heart disease. And clinical trials of new devices and medicines give patients access to the latest advances.

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