Fetal Cardiac Program
The Fetal Cardiac Program, part of Herma Heart Center at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin and the Fetal Concerns Center of Wisconsin, provides comprehensive assessment and care of fetal cardiac disease while compassionately supporting and educating each family.
The Fetal Cardiac Program staff includes doctors, nurses, social workers and program coordinators. The staff is dedicated to improving the assessment of fetal cardiac disease, using research to embark on new treatment strategies and ultimately, to enhancing long-term outcomes for the fetus, newborn and child.
Dr. Frommelt discusses the Fetal Cardiac Program
Why is a special program necessary?
Congenital heart disease is considered one of the most common birth defects worldwide, occurring in about 1 percent of all live births. Irregular heart beats or heart arrhythmias also are very common in infants. The routine use of ultrasounds during pregnancy now allows medical professionals to identify many of these heart defects prior to birth.
Only a few pediatric cardiologists in the United States are trained to perform and interpret prenatal cardiac ultrasounds. Fetal Cardiac Program physicians use the most advanced ultrasound techniques to assess babies' heart problems, providing families and referring health care providers with an understanding of each baby's health issues. Herma Heart Center is one of the nation's top programs for medical and surgical treatment of congenital heart disease.
Early diagnosis may allow therapy prior to birth, leading to a better outcome for the baby. If difficulties at the time of birth are suspected, or if early heart surgery is anticipated, advance planning can be coordinated for the upcoming delivery.
The Fetal Cardiac Program team works with families to help them understand all the options they have regarding diagnosis, treatment and surgery.
Through the Fetal Concerns Center of Wisconsin, families receive specialized complete diagnosis and treatment.
- Fetal echocardiography to assess heart structure, rhythm and function.
- Access to nurse care coordinators who are specifically trained in fetal care.
- Social work support to help identify immediate and ongoing needs, community resources and to address financial and insurance concerns.
- Consultation with cardiothoracic surgeons, cardiac intensive care specialists and neonatologists.
- If needed, access to Children's Hospital specialists in more than 70 pediatric disciplines who will provide seamless treatment following the baby's birth.
Fetal Concerns Center of Wisconsin
The Fetal Concerns Center of Wisconsin is a cooperative effort between Children's Hospital and Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin. The center was developed to provide a complete range of care for women whose pregnancies are complicated by concerns of fetal abnormalities.
- High-risk ultrasound to look for abnormalities.
- Consultation with maternal-fetal medicine specialists.
- Obstetrical management and delivery.
- Neonatal management.
Nursing coordinators from the Fetal Cardiac Program and Fetal Concerns Center work together to coordinate follow-up visits, provide feedback to referring health care providers and if necessary, to arrange delivery at Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin Birth Center.
The Fetal Cardiac Program accepts patient self-referrals as well as those from physicians. Referring health care providers receive a report of visits and care provided. It is important for all members of the patient's health care team to work together to provide the best care possible.
For more information or to make an appointment, call (414) 266-2077 to speak with the Fetal Cardiac Program clinic coordinator.