National Heart Month

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CONGENITAL HEART DISEASE (CHD)

Heart disease doesn’t affect just adults. For children in need of specialized cardiovascular care, families can turn to the experts at the The Pediatric and Congenital Heart Center of Alabama, one of the largest pediatric cardiovascular programs in the Southeast. 

The team provides pediatric cardiac care for more than 12,000 patients a year. In 2020, staff performed more than 675 cardiac catheterizations and electrophysiology procedures and nearly 435 cardiovascular surgeries, including 4 heart transplants. The center includes 20 private CVICU rooms, 16 private CCU rooms, two cardiovascular operating rooms and two catheterization labs. 

“We are proud of the collaborative multidisciplinary partnership that has developed among the cardiologists, cardiac intensivists, CV anesthesiologists and CV surgeons in the delivery of patient and family-centered care,” said Division Director Yung Lau, M.D. a pediatric cardiologist at Children’s and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).  “Our team of more than 250 dedicated professionals who work at the Pediatric and Congenital Heart Center of Alabama are committed to providing world-class cardiac care for our patients.” 

This “heart hospital within a hospital” represents a five-decade tradition of superior cardiovascular clinical care and research dedicated solely to children. This single platform of care includes surgeons, intensivists, cardiologists and many others, including nurses, social workers, child life specialists, counselors, nutritionists, occupational and physical therapists and chaplains. 

Heart defects are the most common birth defects, and most heart defects have no known cause. Congenital heart disease (CHD) affects about 40,000 births per year in the United States, or about one percent of all births. CHD kills more children each year than all the cancers combined and is the top killer of children born with developmental abnormalities. Survival of infants with CHD and other congenital defects depends on how severe the defect is, when it is diagnosed and how it is treated. 

In addition to the medical costs, families of children with congenital heart disease can face other costs, such as lifestyle changes, emotional stress, family uncertainty and being unable to return to work in order to care for their child. 

One way the community can support the Pediatric and Congenital Heart Center of Alabama at Children’s of Alabama is by purchasing the Mending Kids’ Hearts specialty car tag that is available at every office of the Alabama Department of Motor Vehicles. Every $50 tag generates $41.25 for the heart program at Children’s. Since 2017, tag sales have raised more than $200,000 for cardiovascular research, physician training and patient care. When state residents renew or purchase a Mending Kids’ Hearts tag, they are providing valuable funds for patient care, research and specialized physician training for the Pediatric and Congenital Heart Center of Alabama. For more information about the Mending Kids’ Hearts tag, visit www.childrensal.org/tags.

WAYS TO HELP

Send a Valentine’s Day Card to a Patient

Kendra Scott Gives Back

Mending Kids’ Hearts Specialty Tag

6th Annual Captain D’s Castin’ ‘N Catchin’

Support by shopping with Amazon Smile

Raise funds through Planet Fundraiser


PATIENT STORIES


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Heart Month Highlights Advancements in Technology & Family-Centered Care

During the month of February, we celebrate Heart Month at Children’s of Alabama by highlighting advancements in care and technology at the Pediatric and Congenital Heart Center of Alabama. This partnership between Children’s and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) brings together more than 250 team members who focus solely on the care of children with heart disease. From the time a baby is diagnosed, even before birth, a plan for that child’s care is developed.

As Division Director of Pediatric Cardiology, Dr. Yung Lau and his team follow patients from birth until the transition to adult care. Recent partnerships and advancements in technology help to save lives in schools, monitor patients from afar and operate using less-invasive techniques.
Heart Month Highlights Advancements in Technology & Family-Centered CareDr. Yung Lau is a Pediatric Cardiologist at Children’s of Alabama and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). He completed his pediatric residency at UAB and his fellowship at the Medical University of South Carolina under Dr. Paul Gillette, who is recognized as the “Father of Pediatric Electrophysiology.” Clinically, Dr. Lau’s areas of special interest include cardiac rhythm abnormalities, sudden cardiac arrest in the young and congenital heart disease. Within the Pediatric and Congenital Heart Center of Alabama, Dr. Lau is most pleased with the multidisciplinary partnership that has developed among the cardiologists, cardiac intensivists, CV anesthesiologists and CV surgeons in the delivery of patient and family-centered care.

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A MINUTE WITH CHILDREN'S

MENDING KIDS' HEARTS PSA :30


WAYS TO HELP

  • Show some love to the patients at Children’s of Alabama this Valentine’s Day by sending a freeChloeValentine2.jpg greeting card through the hospital’s website. Now through Sunday, Feb. 14, visit give.childrensal.org/VDay to select one of the three card designs. The cards will be printed and distributed by hospital staff to patients throughout the hospital on Valentine’s Day.



  • Morgan and Ashley KS.jpg Morgan, five-year-old heart transplant patient, designed two necklaces at Kendra Scott in honor of Heart Month. Twenty percent of proceeds from each Ari Heart Gold Pendant Necklace in Iridescent Drusy and Elisa Silver Necklace in Turquoise Magnesite purchased during February 2021 will benefit Pediatric and Congenital Heart Center at Children's of Alabama. To purchase, visit Kendra Scott at the Summit or call 205-545-5249. The store will also host a Virtual and In-Store Give Back Event, Feb. 18-19. Twenty percent of proceeds from all items purchased during the event will benefit the Pediatric and Congenital Heart Center at Children's of Alabama. Visit childrensofalabamaheartmonth.splashthat.com/ to RSVP.


  • The Mending Kids’ Hearts specialty tag can be purchased at any Alabama Department of Motor Vehicle location for a cost of $50 inheart_tag_2018.jpg addition to your normal tag cost. Of that $50, $41.25 will go to Children’s. When state residents renew or purchase a Mending Kids’ Hearts specialty car tag, they are providing valuable funds for patient care, research and specialized physician training for the Pediatric and Congenital Heart Center at Children’s. For more information about the Mending Kids’ Hearts specialty tag, visit https://revenue.alabama.gov/motor-vehicle/license-plate-information/specialty-license-plates-all-vehicles/mending-kids-hearts/.


  • Registration is now open for the 6th Annual Captain D’s Castin’ ‘N Catchin’ presented by Harbin Automotive. This fishing tournament benefits the Pediatric and Congenital Heart Center at Children’s of Alabama and will be held Saturday, April 17, on Lake Guntersville at Goose Pond Colony Resort (417 Ed Hembree Drive, Scottsboro, 35769). The tournament has raised more than $600,000 since 2016 for the Pediatric and Congenital Heart Center at Children’s of Alabama. For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Shelly McCarty at shelly.mccarty@childrensal.org or 205-638-7478.


  • Looking for a special Valentine’s Day gift? Shop with AmazonSmile, and Amazon will make a donation to Children’s of Alabama. Visit smile.amazon.com and select “Children’s Hospital of Alabama.” For eligible purchases, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate a percentage of the purchase price to Children’s.


  • Planet Fundraiser is an app that enables you to raise funds for a cause through everyday purchases. Download the free app at planetfundraiser.com/get-the-app/ and select Children’s of Alabama. Shop at supporting merchants, snap a picture of the receipt and a percentage of the purchase will be given to Children’s.

Donate to Pediatric & Congenital Heart Center of Alabama