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Comprehensive Pediatric Cardiac Care in a Heartbeat

Comprehensive Pediatric Cardiac Care in a Heartbeat

From the first flickering heartbeats on a fetal ultrasound to the care of an adolescent after open-heart surgery, Boston Medical Center’s team of pediatric cardiologists offer evaluation and comprehensive non-invasive cardiac care through all stages of infancy and childhood.

In a cheerful, family-centered environment, three-board certified cardiac specialists provide fetal diagnosis as well as evaluations and care for a full range of pediatric heart conditions including congenital heart disease, acquired heart disease, Kawasaki disease, rheumatic fever, arrhythmias, heart murmurs, chest pain, syncope, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia.

“The prospect of a heart problem can be terrifying for patients and their families. As a small, well-established program, we have the flexibility to accommodate consults quickly while keeping referring physicians closely informed during the course of treatment,” said Sharon O’Brien, MD, director of the Division of Pediatric Cardiology at BMC. “In addition, we have incredible pediatric nurses, child life specialists, and social workers to help families adjust to a difficult diagnosis.” As an example, Dr. O’Brien cites the department’s clinical expertise in fetal echocardiography. Abnormal ultrasound readings can be quickly assed with two pediatric sonographers on staff. Physicians work together with the sonographers to diagnose congenital defects, arrhythmias, and other fetal heart defects. The team then carefully plots a course of treatment for the baby after delivery.

“Our program is closely integrated with Children’s Hospital Boston to provide patients with leading surgical expertise and the most innovative treatments. Should a patient require an invasive procedure, we can seamlessly transition the case to cardiac surgeons at Children’s while remaining directly involved in his or her care,” said Dr. O’Brien. Such coordinated care between facilities is possible for patients whose treatment is initiated at BMC because all three BMC cardiologists hold staff positions at Children’s.

With obesity becoming an increasing concern in the pediatric population, BMC’s Pediatric Cardiology Program also offers weekly clinics to diagnose and treat hypertension and hyperlipidemia. Led by Elizabeth Yellen, MD, the program focuses on lifestyle management. Physicians and staff closely coordinate patient care with pediatric nutrition and fitness programs at BMC as well as in the community through UMass Boston’s GoKids Program.

To schedule an appointment, call 617.414.4841.