Monthly Clinician Digest from Children's Minnesota
Monthly Clinician Digest from Children's Minnesota

Special Heart Month edition

At Children's Minnesota, our cardiovascular team is always focused on being your resource for pediatric heart care. For American Heart Month, we bring you a special edition of the Clinician Digest that focuses on our cardiovascular program, people and patients.

Children’s Minnesota’s cardiovascular program provides comprehensive pediatric cardiovascular services – from routine care to advanced cardiac surgeries, from before birth and into adulthood. Our program treats the most pediatric cardiology patients in Minnesota and our outcomes are some of the best in the country. Our cardiovascular program is the only one in the region that is part of a health system dedicated exclusively to caring for children.

Children’s Minnesota becomes first in the state to implant state-of-the-art non-surgical heart valve in a child
The Harmony valve is the world's first non-surgical heart valve for kids and adults with congenital heart disease, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This heart valve implant provides a less invasive treatment alternative to open-heart surgery to treat pulmonary valve regurgitation for patients with a native or surgically-repaired right ventricular outflow tract. It’s placed into the pulmonary valve through a vein in a patient’s groin or neck inside a catheter; allowing most patients to go home the next day. 
Referral and collaboration help baby August beat the odds of Ebstein anomaly diagnosis
The first cause for concern with baby August came in utero when his mom Bitsy went for her 20-week ultrasound. Dr. Elizabeth Baldwin, a perinatologist at HealthPartners Clinic in St. Paul, noticed a heart abnormality.
To confirm what was going on with August’s heart, Dr. Baldwin referred Bitsy to the cardiovascular program at Children’s Minnesota for an additional scan. Dr. Lisa Howley, medical director of fetal cardiology, diagnosed unborn August with Ebstein anomaly — a rare heart defect that affects the tricuspid valve. 
Dr. Howley and other specialists at Children’s Minnesota followed Bitsy every two weeks to monitor the health of her baby. Through the Mayo Clinic – Children’s Minnesota Cardiovascular CollaborativeDr. David Overman, chief of cardiovascular surgery at Children’s Minnesota, and Dr. Joseph Dearani, chair of pediatric and adult congenital heart surgery at Mayo Clinic, consulted with Bitsy about managing August’s care after he was born. Dr. Dearani was brought in due to his specific expertise with Ebstein anomaly. 
The Midwest Fetal Care Center participates in NIH study to reverse heart block during pregnancy
The Midwest Fetal Care Center, a collaboration between Children’s Minnesota and Allina Health, is participating in a large multicenter National Institutes of Health-funded study targeting improved surveillance and care for pregnant women with anti-SSA/Ro antibodies who are at risk for fetal heart block. The Surveillance and Treatment to Prevent Fetal Atrioventricular Block Likely to Occur Quickly, or STOP BLOQ, trial is led by expert researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of Colorado and is expected to complete enrollment in August 2025. Read more about the study.
Simulation training curriculum for hypoplastic left heart syndrome caregivers
For parents of medically complex children, the day they bring their child home from the hospital is often filled with anxiety. Many wonder if they’re capable of providing the care their child needs to stay healthy. While we’ll never be able to completely ease parents’ fears, we can significantly increase their skills and confidence by providing them simulation training before their child leaves the hospital. 
The simulation curriculum for caregivers of children with cardiac shunt-dependent conditions has proven to be a success. Caregivers have expressed the relief they feel after participating in the training and said they feel prepared to handle their child’s care at home. Using the short form state-trait anxiety index, Children's Minnesota medical professionals measured a 22% decrease in caregiver anxiety following the simulation.
Did you know Children’s Minnesota ranks in the top 20 for pediatric cardiac surgery volumes and treatment outcomes?
Among the leading U.S. pediatric hospitals that submit data to the Pediatric Health Information System — a large, national comparative database — Children's Minnesota ranks in the top 20 in the nation in pediatric cardiac surgery volumes and treatment outcomes.  
The cardiovascular surgery team provides individualized surgical care to patients with all forms of congenital heart disease. With three board-certified congenital cardiac surgeons, we perform the most pediatric cardiac procedures in Minnesota — more than 425 heart surgeries annually — and provide surgical care to patients from the five-state region and beyond.
NEW! Access interactive, online clinical guidelines from your mobile devices
More than 25 of the Children's Minnesota clinical guidelines are available in interactive digital format through an avoMD guidelines application. Online access allows you to use the clinical guidelines from your phone or other device, right at the point of care. 

Providers (including residents, pharmacists, staff providers, etc.) can e-mail to be onboarded for free use of a Children's Minnesota/avoMD guideline app on their personal mobile device. Downloading the app is quick and easy.
In A Heartbeat: The Keys to Detecting Congenital Heart Disease in Newborns
Congenital heart defects are the most common birth defect among the kids that we care for and perhaps contribute to some of the most fear-inducing moments in the newborn nursery. The good news is that many congenital heart lesions are treatable with very good outcomes if detected and treated early by cardiac specialists. Join our Kid Expert Dr. Christine Hills, pediatric cardiologist, as she discusses our ability to detect congenital heart defects on fetal ultrasound, and how we can detect them postnatally through pulse oximetry screening if they are not picked up prenatally. She also shares with us some practical strategies for the initial management of newborns with heart disease in the first few days and weeks while they await cardiology intervention or follow-up.
With new episodes released every Friday, be sure to check the Talking Pediatrics podcast page weekly.
Virtual Grand Rounds
Every Thursday, 8 - 9 a.m.

Join us for the live, virtual event or watch recorded presentations.
Watch the previously recorded Grand Rounds: Taking the Pulse of Fetal and Newborn Cardiac Care
Talking Pediatrics podcast
Join us each week as we bring intriguing stories and relevant pediatric healthcare information and partner with you in the care of your patients. Our guests, data, ideas and practical tips will surprise, challenge and perhaps change how you care for kids.

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