History of Pediatric Cardiology

“When Robert Gross ligated a patent ductus in 1938, pediatric cardiology, as a discipline, was born,” wrote esteemed physician Jacqueline Noonan, MD (Pediatric Research, 2004). Just eight years later, Cardiology was recognized as a department at The Children’s Hospital in Denver. Pediatric heart history in the Rocky Mountain region dates back considerably earlier, however, with Children’s having recorded cardiac care advances before 1920.

That century-plus of pioneering is now reflected in the Section of Cardiology and the Heart Institute at Children’s Hospital Colorado. Achieving optimal outcomes for patients in utero and into early adulthood is the work of an interdisciplinary team that brings together Department of Pediatrics cardiologists, Department of Surgery cardiac surgeons, plus specialists from more than 15 other Sections. More than 400 cardiac experts collaborate to provide care for patients with adult congenital and acquired heart diseases, making the Institute the region’s largest. In recent years, this team has treated more than 20,000 patients annually.

And the Institute’s reach extends nationally. To date more than 100 of the nation’s pediatric cardiologists have gained knowledge and mentorship through the Department of Pediatrics’ Heart Fellowship Program.

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