The Congenital Cardiac Anesthesia service at Children’s Hospital Colorado provides perioperative anesthetic management of patients with congenital or acquired heart disease. We care for patients with congenital heart disease (CHD) from birth through adulthood. The team provides pre-op consultation for providers and families and participates in multidisciplinary conferences to make sure every patient is optimized for their procedure. The congenital cardiac anesthesia team consists of eight, full-time, physician anesthesiologist faculty and a full-time nurse practitioner who is essential to the coordination of patient care. All staff have joint appointments at both the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Children’s Hospital Colorado. The team’s focus is on the three pillars of the Department of Anesthesiology: clinical excellence, education and research.
We are a major referral center from six states for patients with complex congenital heart disease. Our outcomes are continually assessed by our participation in the Society of Thoracic Surgery and Congenital Cardiac Anesthesia Society database and our outcome data is publicly reported. The congenital cardiac anesthesia service provides perioperative care for all patients with congenital heart disease in the cardiac operating rooms, cardiac catheterization laboratories and during non-invasive imaging such as MRI and CT scans. Many procedures are often combined under a single anesthetic for the safety of the patient and convenience of the family. We are a large center for single ventricle patients, heart transplantation and ventricular assist devices. We have a robust and active extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) program.
The cardiac anesthesia team trains a diverse group of healthcare providers. We have pediatric anesthesia trainees and adult cardiothoracic anesthesia trainees with us on a daily basis. We also provide training for our cardiac anesthetists who help us provide anesthesia care in the cardiac catheterization labs. The training covers preoperative assessment, high risk anesthesia patients, invasive hemodynamic monitoring, management of cardiopulmonary bypass including deep hypothermic circulatory arrest, and post-operative management. The team has expertise in all aspects of cardiac and thoracic anesthesia especially as it relates to young children. We are a recognized center for advanced training in congenital cardiac anesthesia and have one position for an advanced trainee every year.
The cardiac anesthesia team is very active in basic science and clinical research. Current active areas of research focus on pulmonary hypertension, the inflammatory response to cardiopulmonary bypass, coagulopathies and various syndromes associated with congenital heart disease.