Cardiology & Cardiothoracic Surgery Outcomes

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Why Choose Us: Cardiology & Cardiothoracic Surgery

Our Outcomes: The Results of Our Care

Nemours cardiology and heart surgery experts focus on the early detection and repair of cardiac problems in kids, from before birth through the teen years. World-class heart care requires an experienced team with the compassion to understand your family's journey, and the expertise to heal even the most complex conditions. At Nemours, we're here every step of the way — from diagnosis to treatment and beyond.

Why Measuring Results Matters

To provide pediatric care that's among the safest and most effective, we measure our results and compare them to national pediatric rates. Why? So we can:

  • help you make decisions about your child’s care
  • be clear about our results
  • improve and consistently deliver better, safer care

Here are some outcomes we track to improve the experience for both you and your child.

 

Our Cardiology & Cardiothoracic Surgery Outcomes

Excellent Results for Complicated Operations

Excellent Results for Complicated Operations


Giving Fragile Hearts a Better Start

Since 2005, the Nemours Cardiac Center in the Delaware Valley has been an active participant in the Society of Thoracic Surgeons Congenital Heart Surgery Database (STS-CHSD). We rank among the best institutions for risk-adjusted outcomes (meaning the results take into account the complexity of the heart operation and the weight and age of infants). Over the past four years of reporting to the STS-CHSD, Nemours Cardiac Center in the Delaware Valley has had no deaths for the following complex procedures in newborns.

 

Norwood Procedure

0%

Nemours Cardiac Center (Delaware Valley)

15.8%

National average (benchmark)

Arterial Switch

0%

Nemours Cardiac Center (Delaware Valley)

2.2%

National average (benchmark)

Tetralogy of Fallot Repair

0%

Nemours Cardiac Center (Delaware Valley)

1.1%

National average (benchmark)

Truncus Arteriosus Repair

0%

Nemours Cardiac Center (Delaware Valley)

10.1%

National average (benchmark)

Data source: Data for neonatal cardiothoracic surgery patients, Jan. 2013-Dec. 2016, Nemours Cardiac Center, Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children (Wilmington, Del.).
Benchmark: Society for Thoracic Surgeons Congenital Heart Surgery Database (STS-CHSD), Jan. 2013-Dec. 2016.

 



High-Quality Heart Surgery for Kids

Since we began offering pediatric cardiothoracic surgery at Nemours Children's Hospital (Orlando) in the summer of 2016, we've prided ourselves on delivering high-quality care for children with heart disease. Our pediatric cardiac surgery teams specialize in early detection and repair of congenital heart defects (particularly complex congenital heart disease). We correct most heart problems, such as transposition of the great arteries and tetralogy of Fallot, with a single operation in early infancy (more complex conditions may require a series of two or three operations). We also use minimally invasive techniques whenever possible to significantly improve the outlook for children, often with less discomfort, faster recovery time and shorter hospital stays.

 

Overall Mortality

0

Deaths out of 177 cases, Nemours Cardiac Center (Florida)

Data source: Data of cardiothoracic surgery patients, July 2016 through March 2018, Nemours Cardiac Center, Nemours Children's Hospital (Orlando). Benchmark data from the Society for Thoracic Surgeons Congenital Heart Surgery Database (STS-CHSD) will be available for Nemours Children's Hospital in the summer of 2018.

Giving Children the Best Chance at a Healthy Future

Giving Children the Best Chance at a Healthy Future


Treating Even the Tiniest Hearts

It’s often the littlest hearts that need the most help — and as soon as possible. At the Nemours Cardiac Centers in the Delaware Valley and Florida, we specialize in the youngest patients. In fact, 2 out of 3 children who need heart surgery are 12 months and under. Our experience with congenital (present at birth) heart disease in newborns and infants shows in our results.

 

Survival Rates for Newborns & Infants Who Had Cardiothoracic Surgery

94.3%

Nemours Cardiac Center (Delaware Valley)

93.5%

National expected rate

Data source: Data from cardiothoracic surgery patients, overall newborns and infants combined, 2011 through 2014, Nemours Cardiac Center, Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children (Wilmington, Del.). Mortality for that age group: 5.7 percent, versus 6.5 percent mortality for the national expected rate based on risk-adjustment (looking at a baby’s age and birth weight).
Benchmark: Society for Thoracic Surgeons Congenital Heart Surgery Database (STS-CHSD), 2011-2014.
 

Safer Cardiac Catheterizations in Kids

Safer Cardiac Catheterizations in Kids


Complications Better Than the National Average

Pediatric cardiac catheterization is a nonsurgical procedure that can be used in infants, children and teens to get detailed information about — and determine if there’s a problem with — the heart (called “diagnostic catheterization”). Cardiac catheterizations can sometimes also repair a problem (known as “interventional catheterization”).

In a catheterization, a cardiologist inserts a thin plastic, flexible tube (called a “catheter”) into an artery and vein, usually in the groin, then threads the catheter through the bloodstream into the heart and its large blood vessels. There, the doctor measures pressures and blood oxygen levels and takes special moving X-rays of the heart and blood vessels. Many of the procedures we perform would otherwise require open-heart surgery with much longer hospitalization and recovery times. And we’re proud to have very few cardiac catheterization complications — well below the rate reported for other pediatric heart catheterization sites across the country.

 

Percentage of Overall Cardiac Catheterization Complications

1.8%

Nemours Cardiac Center (Delaware Valley)

2.9%

Nemours Cardiac Center (Florida)

11.2%

National average (benchmark)

Data source: Data collected for Nemours Cardiac Center, Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children (Wilmington, Del.), 2012-2015; and Nemours Cardiac Center, Nemours Children's Hospital (Orlando), 2016-2017.
Benchmark: National Cardiovascular Data Registry (NCDR) IMPACT Registry for all participating centers, 2015.

Reduced Exposure to Radiation

Reduced Exposure to Radiation


Making Cardiac Catheterizations as Safe as Possible

Cardiac catheterization procedures use fluoroscopy (special moving X-ray pictures) to follow the catheters in the heart and create pictures of the heart and blood vessels. There’s evidence that too much exposure to X-rays at a young age may be associated with later health problems including some cancers. That’s why we use the absolute minimum X-ray time. Our fluoroscopy times during two common procedures — closure of an atrial septal defect (a hole between two collecting chambers) and closure of a patent ductus arteriosus (an abnormal connection between the aorta and pulmonary artery) — are far better than the national average, making our procedures as safe as possible for our patients.

 

Fluoroscopy Times, Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) Closure

6.6 minutes of X-ray exposure per procedure

Nemours Cardiac Center (Delaware Valley)

8.4 minutes of X-ray exposure per procedure

Nemours Cardiac Center (Florida)

14.8 minutes of X-ray exposure per procedure

National average (benchmark)

Fluoroscopy Times, Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) Closure

9.9 minutes of X-ray exposure per procedure

Nemours Cardiac Center (Delaware Valley)

7.5 minutes of X-ray exposure per procedure

Nemours Cardiac Center (Florida)

13.5 minutes of X-ray exposure per procedure

National average (benchmark)

Data source and benchmark: Data, 2016-2017, for Nemours Cardiac Center, Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children (Wilmington, Del.) and Nemours Cardiac Center, Nemours Children's Hospital (Orlando), compared to the National Cardiovascular Data Registry (NCDR) IMPACT data registry 2016-2017.

Same-Day Test Results

Same-Day Test Results


Sooner Answers Means Earlier Diagnosis

When you have a child with a heart problem, the quicker you can find out what's going on, the better. That’s why we take early detection and treatment of children’s heart conditions very seriously at Nemours. So when your child gets cardiac tests, we make sure your primary care physician has the accurate, complete results to let you know what's happening with your child's heart sooner rather than later.

Echocardiography (or “echo”) is our most frequently used imaging tool. This specialized form of ultrasound builds a picture of the heart using sound waves. It examines each heart chamber, heart valve, artery and vein associated with the heart (even the tiniest structures). At Nemours we get your child’s echo results fast — 99 percent within 24 hours. After the pediatric cardiologist interprets your child’s echo, we immediately send the results to your doctor. This saves you from wondering what’s going on and waiting days — even weeks — for answers. And getting a diagnosis right away means there’s no delay in treatment.

We also make sure families have easy, fast access to cardiology appointments (usually within 3 days), including fetal consultations (usually within 24 hours).

 

Same-Day Outpatient Echo Results, Nemours Cardiac Center (Delaware Valley)

71%

Echo results within 4 hours or less

93%

Echo results within 24 hours or less*

Same-Day Outpatient Echo Results, Nemours Cardiac Center (Pensacola, Fla.)

77%

Echo results within 4 hours or less

97%

Echo results within 24 hours or less*

Data source: Nemours data looks at the time (hours) between the procedure start and the report being sent to the primary care physician for Nemours Cardiac Center, Delaware Valley (Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del., and regional satellite locations), Oct.-Dec. 2017; Nemours Cardiac Center, Nemours Children's Specialty Care, Pensacola (Pensacola, Fla.); 2017.
*Echo results read within 24 hours include those read within 4 hours.


Learn More: Nemours Cardiac Center (Delaware Valley)

Our Differentiators: What Sets Us Apart

Our Differentiators: What Sets Us Apart


Why Choose the Nemours Cardiac Center (Delaware Valley)

At the Nemours Cardiac Center in the Delaware Valley (based at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del.), our highly specialized surgical care for complicated conditions results in excellent outcomes within the wide range of pediatric heart disease. Our high overall survival rate of 96.3 percent for pediatric heart surgery places us on par or better than hospitals reporting to the Society of Thoracic Surgeons Congenital Heart Surgery Database (STS-CHSD).

report on pediatric and congenital heart surgery released by the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4) shows that the Nemours Cardiac Center is a regional leader for surgical outcomes for children with congenital heart defects. We voluntarily participate in the PHC4 public reporting because we’re committed to transparency — being open and honest about our outcomes data. Learn More »

Here are just some of the other reasons families entrust us with their children’s hearts:

  • Award-winning care. The Nemours Cardiac Center is ranked among the best children’s hospitals in the nation for pediatric cardiology and cardiac surgery by U.S. News and World Report. Also, many of our cardiac experts are named to the Best Doctors in America® list, year after year.
  • Comprehensive surgical care. We perform all surgical procedures, from the most straightforward to the most complicated, including heart transplants.
  • Leaders in pediatric heart failure treatment. We’re one of only a few children’s hospitals nationwide named a Pediatric Heart Failure Institute by the Healthcare Accreditation Colloquium.
  • Care teams just for pediatric cardiac patients. Our dedicated cardiology teams specialize in providing outpatient pediatric cardiovascular care and inpatient critical care in a patient-centered, family-supportive environment.
  • High patient and family satisfaction. In annual surveys, 100 percent of our Nemours Cardiac Center patients said they would recommend duPont Hospital for Children.
  • Convenient heart care for kids. The Nemours Cardiac Center is an integrated network where kids can receive expert Nemours heart care, closer to home. Our physicians offer their expertise at outpatient satellite offices — giving your child high-quality cardiac care when and where you need it.
  • Preventive cardiology. We focus on preventing heart problems that can occur in adults (e.g., high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and coronary artery disease). We’re internationally recognized for investigations into preventive cardiology, and maintain a leadership role in national efforts to prevent pediatric heart disease.
  • Comprehensive cardiac testing. Many state-of-the-art pediatric diagnostic tests are available at our outpatient offices and all are offered at our main location. We also work with expectant parents to diagnose congenital heart disease in the womb. If we detect a fetal abnormality, we can help parents-to-be prepare emotionally and coordinate care for as soon as their baby is born.

From before birth through the teen years, your child can get all of the services related to heart care right here at the Nemours Cardiac Center — in one place, at one time.

Learn more about the Nemours Cardiac Center at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del.

 

Learn More: Nemours Cardiac Center (Florida)

Our Differentiators: What Sets Us Apart

Our Differentiators: What Sets Us Apart


Why Choose the Nemours Cardiac Center (Florida)

Here are just a few of the reasons families entrust us with their children’s hearts:

  • Excellence in pediatric heart surgery. Renowned pediatric cardiothoracic surgeons at Nemours treat nearly heart defects using the most innovative, up-to-date approaches. 
  • Care just for pediatric cardiac patients. Our cardiologists work with teams of seasoned pediatric cardiothoracic surgeons and anesthesiologists dedicated exclusively to helping kids.
  • Convenient heart care for kids. The Nemours Cardiac Center isn’t one place — it’s an integrated network where kids can receive expert Nemours heart care closer to home, whether they're in Central Florida (Nemours Children's Hospital) or Northwest Florida (Nemours Children's Specialty Care, Pensacola). Our physicians offer their expertise at outpatient satellite offices — giving your child high-quality cardiac care when and where you need it.
  • Preventive cardiology. We focus on preventing heart problems that can occur in adults (e.g., high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and coronary artery disease).
  • Kid-friendly imaging. Nemours has state-of-the-art pediatric echocardiography labs equipped with sophisticated imaging equipment to produce precise diagnostic images of the heart. We also work with expectant parents to diagnose congenital heart disease in the womb. If we detect a fetal abnormality, we can help parents-to-be prepare emotionally and coordinate care for as soon as their baby is born.

With locations across the state, we've expanded our commitment to cardiology in Florida that began in 1997 in Pensacola. That means more children and families have access to integrated services, closer to home.

Learn More About Nemours Cardiac Center (Florida) »

See how the Nemours Cardiac Center at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando helped Juliette, who was born with a heart defect.