Throughout the month of February, we celebrate the exciting developments in BC Children’s Hospital’s cardiac program and, importantly, the successes of our young patients who’ve received life-saving care from our heart specialists.
Did you know that one in every 100 children in British Columbia is born with a congenital heart defect (CHD) and that more than half of them need surgery to survive? Many of these fragile children are treated in the Heart Centre at BC Children’s Hospital, which receives over 9,800 visits every year.
Here are some reasons this area of care is so important for our province’s children:
A child’s growing heart requires long-term care.
- Our surgeons must be trained to operate on a newborn baby’s heart that is typically the size of a walnut – and also on the heart of a growing teenager.
A child’s heart beats faster than an adult heart.
- The heart pumps oxygen to the body; a lack of oxygen can cause failure to thrive and slowed development/growth in children.
Pediatric cardiology prevents heart problems later in life.
- Heart defects found in adulthood may have existed since birth; by repairing heart problems early, children have far better chances of living long healthy lives.
Heart programs at BC Children’s Hospital
One of the largest and most-frequented treatment and diagnostic areas at BC Children’s Hospital, the Cardiac Sciences Program serves children and youth who suffer from all forms of congenital (born with) and acquired heart disease in BC, the Yukon and other parts of Western Canada.
The program has a multidisciplinary team that comprises experts in cardiac surgery, cardiology, nursing, and various allied health fields. The department sees children – from babies to teens – as inpatients and through an outpatient clinic, echocardiography, ECG, diagnostic imaging, and cardiac surgery. among other services.
In October 2013, BC Children’s Hospital officially launched its pediatric heart transplant program. For our families, this means children will be able to stay close to home to receive any kind of cardiac surgery. The program is one of only two transplant programs of its kind in Western Canada.
The future of cardiac care
The Teck Acute Care Centre – the heart of the new BC Children's Hospital – will open in 2017, keeping pace with changes in the practice of pediatric medicine and providing medical staff with the infrastructure they need to excel and expand their skills and programs, while better meeting the needs of tomorrow's patients and their families.
In the new hospital, the Children’s Heart Centre will include a dedicated cardiac intensive care unit, a cardiac operating room, a cardiac catheterization lab, a cardiosciences inpatient unit and a cardiology clinic.
Meet some of our amazing Miracle Kids who’ve benefited from the specialized heart care at BC Children’s Hospital:
|Hans Gabriel Rana|