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Inside Pediatrics Podcast

BIRMINGHAM (Jan. 31, 2020) – Heart disease doesn’t affect just adults. For children in need of specialized cardiovascular care, families can turn to the experts at the Pediatric and Congenital Heart Center of Alabama at Children’s 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 2019, staff performed more than 700 cardiac catheterizations and electrophysiology procedures and nearly 450 cardiovascular surgeries, including 8 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 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 childrensal.org/partner-with-us.

Since 1911, Children’s of Alabama has provided specialized medical care for ill and injured children, offering inpatient and outpatient services throughout central Alabama. Ranked among the best pediatric medical centers in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, Children’s provided care for youngsters from every county in Alabama and 42 other states last year, representing more than 684,000 outpatient visits and more than 15,000 inpatient admissions. With more than 3.5 million square feet, Children’s is one of the largest pediatric medical facilities in the United States. It is a private, not-for-profit medical center that serves as the teaching hospital for the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) pediatric medicine, surgery, psychiatry, research and residency programs. The medical staff consists of UAB faculty and Children’s of Alabama’s full-time physicians as well as private practicing community physicians.