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Nemours Cardiac Center

Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children
1600 Rockland Road, Wilmington, DE 19803
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+1 (302) 651-4993

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Get detailed information about the Nemours Cardiac Center in our "Expert Care With Heart" brochures:

Diagnosis & Treatment

Advanced Early Detection

Our highly trained CICU nurses provide exceptional, specialized care.

CICU nurses Janet Prozzillo, nurse manager, and Barb Sands, cardiac care coordinator, look after one of our infant patients.

Using the very latest, most advanced technologies, the Nemours Cardiac Center specializes in early detection and repair so that your child can have the healthiest future possible.

We offer a full range of diagnostic tests which, depending on your child’s age and condition, may include:
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG): a test that can detect problems with the electrical activity of your child’s heart
  • Holter monitoring: a portable version of an EKG that allows continuous monitoring of the electrical activity of your child’s cardiovascular system for at least 24 hours
  • Echocardiogram: our most frequently used imaging tool, used in our echocardiography lab, which is accredited by the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Echocardiography Laboratories (the country’s highest level of achievement in the specialty)
  • Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and cardiovascular computed tomography (CT) scans of the heart: imaging tools that allow us to get a glimpse of the interior structure of your child’s heart
  • Exercise stress testing: a screening tool used to test the effect of exercise on the heart

Learn More About Cardiac Diagnostic Tests »

Diagnosing Fetal Conditions

Many children with critical heart disease can be diagnosed before birth (in utero) or soon after. Our cardiologists perform in-depth cardiac ultrasounds (fetal echocardiography or “fetal echo"), which allows us to view the structure, function, and rhythm of a baby’s heart while still in the mother’s womb — as early as the 18th week.

If we detect a fetal heart condition during pregnancy, our Nemours Cardiac Center’s fetal cardiology team will work together with your obstetrician/gynecologist (OB/GYN) or maternal-fetal specialist (also called perinatologist, a board-certified obstetrician with special training in high-risk pregnancies). We’ll educate you about your baby’s condition and help you plan for care that might be required after birth.

Learn More About Our Nemours Partners for Perinatal Management »

State-of-the-Art Care & Technology

Our highly trained CICU nurses provide exceptional, specialized care.

Francine Holt, RN, keeps an eye on Aariyah in our CICU.

Our cardiac team provides first-class open-heart surgery, as well as advanced non-surgical approaches like cardiac catheterization (when a thin plastic, flexible tube, called a “catheter,” is inserted into a blood vessel in the leg that leads to the heart). Cardiac catheterization might be used for the diagnosis or treatment of your child’s heart condition. If your child needs a catheterization, the procedure can be performed by one of our cardiologists at any time of the day or night in our state-of-the-art digital cardiac catheterization suite.

Advanced Surgical, Non-Surgical, and Combination Treatments

Our heart surgeons are at the very forefront of pediatric cardiology, which contributes to the ongoing advances in pediatric heart surgery. But we always strive to minimize the number of operations our young patients need. The techniques and advances we use can help your little one avoid the trauma and recovery time of open-heart surgery.

In some complex cases, members of our team work together to perform procedures like open-heart surgery and interventional catheterization, which is sometimes called “therapeutic catheterization,” in the same setting. By offering this kind of combined treatment option (or “hybrid procedure”), we’re improving the outlook for scores of children, all with less discomfort, faster recovery time, and shorter hospital stays. And we’re proud to be one of only a mere handful of centers in the United States where these combo treatment capabilities are available.

Pediatric Heart Transplants

At the Nemours Cardiac Center, our team works together to provide expert, comprehensive care for children with end-stage heart disease. Since some children can’t be treated successfully with medication or surgery, heart transplantation might be the answer. Our surgeons are among the best in pediatric and infant heart transplant procedures if your child needs a new heart.

Our pediatric heart transplant program performed the first heart transplant in the state of Delaware. Our specialists from cardiology and cardiac surgery lead a team of advanced practice nurses, physician assistants, pharmacists, physical and occupational therapists, dietitians (nutritionists), social workers, and child life specialists to provide heart transplant care for children and their families before, during, and after the surgery.

Learn More About Pediatric Heart Transplants »

The Best in Pediatric Heart Technologies

Nemours also has an active Mechanical Circulatory Support Program that provides Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (or ECMO), a system that temporarily acts as a child’s heart and lungs. We also offer Ventricular Assist Devices (VAD), which are mechanical pumps that take over the work of the damaged chamber (ventricle) of the heart. This includes the Berlin Heart (a pump device that comes in various sizes to accommodate children). These assistive devices are used for patients who require “artificial” heart support while waiting for a heart transplant or for their own heart problems to improve.

Congenital Heart Defect Care

About two-thirds of children with heart disease have a “congenital” heart defect, or “congenital heart disease,” which is when a baby is born with a heart that didn’t develop normally or completely in the early weeks of pregnancy. But other kids may have something called an “acquired” heart condition, which is when a heart problem develops at some point between infancy and adolescence.

Finding out that your child has a congenital heart defect can be frightening. You’re probably worried, stressed, and filled with questions about what the diagnosis really means. But you’re not alone; congenital heart disease is actually fairly common. In fact, more than 35,000 babies in the United States are born with a heart disease each year.

To ease some of your concerns and understand what might be involved with your child’s condition and treatment, see:

Inspiring Stories from Our Patients and Families

  • Heart Transplants in Children: Ahsya
    Heart Transplants in Children: Ahsya

    After five months in the Cardiac Center, Ahysa recieved a pediatric heart transplant.

  • Tetralogy of Fallot: Alexander
    Tetralogy of Fallot: Alexander

    Alexander and his twin brother Alex had a normal birth and appeared healthy until Alexander’s doctor detected a heart murmur and was immediately referred to Nemours Cardiac Center.

  • High Cholesterol: Brendan and Dylan
    High Cholesterol: Brendan and Dylan

    Cousins Dylan and Brendan are getting the preventive treatment they need given their family’s history of high cholesterol and serious heart disease.

  • Tetralogy of Fallot: Capucine
    Tetralogy of Fallot: Capucine

    When Capucine was born she seemed perfect, except for a slight heart murmur. Tests revealed that Capucine had Tetratology of Fallot, a cluster of heart defects.

  • Cardiology: Dalton
    Cardiology: Dalton

    Starting at age 8, Dalton occasionally complained to his parents that “my heart’s beating really fast.”

  • Heart Transplants in Children: Josie
    Heart Transplants in Children: Josie

    Eight year-old Josie knows the life-saving chance heart transplants in children can provide after the left side of her heart stopped working.

  • Tetralogy of Fallot: Katie
    Tetralogy of Fallot: Katie

    When Patty and Paul’s baby daughter, Katie, was born with a heart problem, her pediatrician gave them a choice of the best pediatric hospitals for cardiac care.

  • Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome: Lucy
    Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome: Lucy

    When baby Lucy went for her two-week checkup, her pediatrician detected an unusual sound when he listened to her heart (a heart murmur) and told them to get to Nemours Cardiac Center immediately.

  • Total Anomolous Pulmonary Venous Return: Luke
    Total Anomolous Pulmonary Venous Return: Luke

    Luke was taken immediately to the nursery where tests showed that he was getting only 20 percent of the oxygen he needed.

  • Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome: Mavrik
    Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome: Mavrik

    Mavrik has faced many battles for a 6-year-old, including seven open-heart surgeries, a stroke and weeks in the hospital. Through it all, he doesn’t let anything stop him from playing baseball.

  • Aortic Stenosis: Michael
    Aortic Stenosis: Michael

    Michael was 6 weeks old when he was diagnosed with aortic stenosis, a condition in which the aortic valve is stiffened and narrowed.

  • Unbalanced Atrioventricular Canal Defect: Miracle
    Unbalanced Atrioventricular Canal Defect: Miracle

    Miracle came into the world a month early with a serious heart problem, which included an incomplete atrioventricular canal defect (an opening between the chamber of her heart) and aortic stenosis (a ...

  • Coarctation of the Aorta and Bicuspid Valve: Owen
    Coarctation of the Aorta and Bicuspid Valve: Owen

    Read Owen's story of being a pediatric heart surgery patient at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, Del.

  • Heart Transplants in Children: Seth
    Heart Transplants in Children: Seth

    Seth, after having a pediatric heart transplant, now loves to run and play baseball like other children.

  • Congenital Heart Defects: Sierra
    Congenital Heart Defects: Sierra

    Shortly after birth, Sierra was immediately transferred to Nemours Cardiac Center and underwent surgery to switch the blood vessels and repair two holes in her heart.

Trusted Resources

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External Resources

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