Resources For Parents & Families

 

For Parents:

CoupleWelcome to the Fetal Heart Program at the University of Maryland Medical Center. The Fetal Heart Program brings together a multidisciplinary team to provide specialized expertise and supports all aspects of congenital heart diseases. Our team includes national and international leaders in fetal cardiology, perinatology, pediatric cardiology, neonatology, genetics, cardiac surgery, pediatric intensive care. Additional expertise in cardiac imaging with an ability to diagnose fetal heart defects very early in pregnancy ensure the best care across the total spectrum of cardiac diseases. Specially trained sonographers, nurses, nurse practitioners, genetic counselors and social workers complement the core team.

The goals of the Fetal Heart Program are:

  • To diagnose congenital heart defects as early as possible during the pregnancy
  • To exclude other possible chromosomal /genetic abnormalities
  • To ensure that families receive the highest quality care for potential heart problems during pregnancy
  • And to coordinate and continue highest quality care for babies born with heart disease and as a result to improve surgical outcomes when surgery is needed

Fetal Heart Program's patients are cared for through the Division of Maternal and Fetal Medicine and Pediatric Cardiology. Through this innovative program, the unborn child is cared for as a separate and individual patient. Comprehensive care begins in utero and is coordinated and in partnership with referring maternal fetal medicine specialists and obstetricians with many subspecialties, including cardiology, cardiac surgery and genetics. Our elite medical team utilizes some of the most advanced techniques and equipment available. The goal is to understand how heart defects affect fetal well-being in utero and determine when and if intervention is needed. Once a diagnosis is made, parents are counseled so that they are prepared for what to expect for the duration of the pregnancy and after delivery. This unique program maximizes planning time and allows for early treatment of a variety of heart abnormalities – often within moments of delivery. A unique feature of the program is while our team cares for the fetal heart, monitor brain function and other aspects of fetal development to ensure the best outcomes for parents.

Our PICU team provides care in the pre-operative time period for children with very complex heart disease and for all children after heart surgery or interventional procedures in the cardiac catheterization laboratory, using state-of-art technology and evidence-based clinical guidelines. We use these guideline protocols to optimize and personalize the care we deliver to your child. Our PICU’s core belief is to provide excellent, patient-centered care in a safe environment. The various members of the large multi-disciplinary group you will see on rounds are there to ensure that all aspects of the complex care that is needed can be delivered. However, the most important part of the rounding team is our patients and their family. We encourage active participation by the family during rounds and during meetings and are physicians are always available to answer any question that you may have.

Resources for Families:

Support Groups:

The social work team provides supportive counseling, community resource referrals and psychosocial assessments for the patients. We have monthly support group meetings every last Thursday of every month for the families organize by our social workers. The goals of the group is to provide support to parents and families by offering a chance to give and provide support to one another as well as guided support from the social worker. The group allows families to talk confidentially with each other about each others own personal journeys. The second goal of the group is to provide education. At least every other group meeting will have a speaker to talk about their role in the heart program, to provide support, and answer any questions the group may have to allow for a more personal experience and to get to know these team members. The parents and families are the guide for this group and the social worker is just there for support.

For more information please call or email Ashley Langmead at 410-328-6712, alangmead@umm.edu.

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU):

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Team

Back Row Left to Right: Adia Stokes, Suma Hoffman, Colleen Driscoll; Front Row Left to Right: Sripriya Sundararajan, Dine el-Metwally.

Babies with congenital heart disease who are born at the University of Maryland Medical Center are admitted to the NICU where care begins even before delivery. The Center for Advanced Fetal Care Fetal Heart Program Team includes a dedicated neonatologist who understands your baby and families specific needs. During the prenatal period you and your family will have an opportunity to meet with one of our 17 neonatologists so that we can help you anticipate what to expect once your baby delivers, answers all your questions and provide you with a tour of our unit. At the time of delivery our fully-staffed neonatal resuscitation team will be present to provide immediate medical supervision and treatments, if needed, to help your baby transition from the womb. Our team includes highly skilled nurses, physicians, nurse practitioners and respiratory therapists who will transport your child to our neonatal intensive care unit for further care.

Our neonatal team works closely with your baby’s cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeon to optimize medical and surgical care for your child. Our neonatal nutritionists, lactation specialists, social workers, physical and occupational therapists, and case managers will address the multidimensional needs of your family to provide a comprehensive care plan for your baby.

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the University of Maryland is a Level IV NICU that offers the highest level of surgical and sub-specialty care. We operate a 52-bed unit that can accommodate the most critically-ill patients with a high level of expertise and experience. Our staff is dedicated to family involvement throughout every step of your child’s care. We offer a 24 hour visitation policy, sibling visitation opportunities, and multi-disciplinary family meetings as part of your child’s experience in our intensive care unit. Our team works closely with the pediatric intensive care unit to provide a seamless transition following surgery.

Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU):

Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Team

Pictured Left to Right: Dayanand Bagdure, MBBS, M.P.H.; Cortney Foster, DO; Jason Custer, MD; Adnan Bhutta, MBBS, FAAP; Adrian Holloway, MD; Amr Shahin, MD; Casey Naughton, MSN, CPNP-AC; and Melanie Muller, MSN, CRNP-AC.

Having a critically ill child with congenital heart disease can be one of the most stressful experiences for any family. Those who seek care at the University of Maryland Medical Center can find some solace in the fact that care of their child will be provided by a specially trained team, well versed in the care of children with congenital heart disease. This team consists of experienced physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, pharmacists, therapists and other health professionals. We believe very strongly that the front line providers should be nurse practitioners for the care of your child. The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital is a 19-bed modern facility, which is staffed 24/7 by an attending physician. Our congenital heart disease patients are taken care of within the PICU in a specifically designated area. This area focuses on the care for complex congenital cardiac patients. The nurses are specifically trained and experienced to provide the best care for your child. We also have special equipment that is accessible for the best outcomes for your child. Your child will stay consistently in the same PICU bed throughout the hospitalization but the level of care provided by the nurses will vary during the hospitalization. This type of personalized care is well appreciated by parents. Lastly, experienced cardiac nurse practitioners will be with your child throughout your hospital stay and when discharged home from the hospital which creates a seamless care for your child even when discharged.

Our PICU team provides care in the pre-operative time period for children with very complex heart disease and for all children after heart surgery or interventional procedures in the cardiac catheterization laboratory, using state-of-art technology and evidence-based clinical guidelines. We use these guideline protocols to optimize and personalize the care we deliver to your child. Our PICU’s core belief is to provide excellent, patient-centered care in a safe environment. The various members of the large multi-disciplinary group you will see on rounds are there to ensure that all aspects of the complex care that is needed can be delivered. However, the most important part of the rounding team is our patients and their family. We encourage active participation by the family during rounds and during meetings and are physicians are always available to answer any question that you may have.

We encourage you to explore other related links below:

Contact Us:

Pediatric Intensive Care Unit: 410-328-6453 

Critical Care Faculty offices: 410-328-6957

Email: picu@peds.umaryland.edu 


For additional information, or to make an appointment, please contact the center for Advanced Fetal Care at 410-328-3865.

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