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The Heart Institute at Children's Hospital Colorado offers state-of-the-art facilities for testing, diagnosing and treating little hearts including a Cardiac Progressive Care Unit and an Echocardiograph Laboratory.
The general Cardiology Clinic is usually a patient's first stop at the Heart Institute after a referral from a primary care doctor. Exam rooms, consult rooms and testing rooms are all located inside the cardiology clinic to make your child's visit as convenient as possible.
Our Cardiac Catheterization Labs provide both diagnostic and interventional services. This means that doctors can use a “heart cath” procedure to determine the type and severity of a heart defect and also to treat certain types of heart disease – providing a less invasive alternative to surgery. The two cath labs have state-of-the-art equipment specially designed for infants, children and adolescents.
The Cardiopulmonary Exercise Laboratory is used to help doctors understand the exercise limitations for kids with heart or lung disease. Because most other tests are done while a child is still or at rest, an exercise test (such as walking, running or riding a bike) allows a doctor to see how a patient's heart and lungs respond during different levels of physical activity.
The Cardiac Pre/Post Unit cares for patients before heart surgery and before/after cardiac catheterization procedures. The unit also cares for heart patients needing procedures such as echocardiograms (ECHOs) with sedation and other outpatient procedures like wound dressing changes or cardiac infusions. The six-room unit provides a place for the medical team to evaluate patients prior to procedures and for patients to safely recover afterward. Catheterization patients are usually discharged from this unit on the same day as their procedure; surgery patients go directly to the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) to recover. The Pre/Post Unit is staffed with specialized cardiac nurses who are trained in post-anesthesia recovery and the potential complications associated with high-risk pediatric heart patients.
Children's Hospital Colorado has operating rooms dedicated to cardiac procedures that are not used for other medical procedures. The equipment is designed to care for small neonates (often premature), adults with congenital heart disease and everyone in between. A team of specially trained operating room nurses, surgical technicians and perfusionists work closely with the cardiac surgeons and anesthesiologists.
The Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) provides state-of-the-art recovery and monitoring for acutely-ill cardiac patients and those recovering from heart surgery. The CICU is served by a group of highly specialized doctors and dedicated intensive care nurses, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, nutritionists, feeding specialists, social workers and educators that work closely with your child’s heart surgeon, anesthesiologist and other caregivers.
The Cardiac Progressive Care Unit (CPCU) provides dedicated beds and nursing staff for patients who are well enough to be discharged from the CICU, but are not well enough to go home. Because heart problems can be very complex and difficult to manage, the nurses and staff in this area have a strong knowledge and wealth of experience of what is required for the best heart care possible. In the CPCU, families are actively involved in weaning the patient from oxygen and cardiovascular drugs, while learning how to prepare for discharge to home.
As part of the Cardiac Imaging Program, the Echocardiography Lab is used for tests to find out more about your child’s heart. Tests like the echocardiogram (ECHO), fetal ECHO, three-dimensional imaging (3-D ECHO) and transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) are performed in this state-of-the-art lab on our Anschutz Medical Campus, along with our satellite locations and outreach locations. (*Note that we do not have TEE services at our satellite sites or regional outreach clinics.)
The Center for Bioengineering is part of the School of Medicine at the University of Colorado and is housed on the Anschutz Medical Campus. Children’s Hospital Colorado works closely with the center to support bioengineering by promoting research, training and testing of materials, devices and imaging.
Our Regional Outreach Clinical Program brings our renowned heart experts to cities throughout the Rocky Mountain region. A team of our pediatric cardiologists and technicians visit cities at the request of local doctors and the community. Kids may be referred to our Anschutz Medical Campus or South Campus location for further testing, but oftentimes children remain in their local communities and receive the same state-of-the art care as is delivered in our Metro Denver sites.