Many heart problems can now be detected when a baby is still growing and developing inside the womb. Problems may show up during routine ultrasound screenings, and your obstetrician or perinatologist may then refer you to Doernbecher for a fetal cardiac evaluation. This evaluation will include a fetal echocardiogram which is a special ultrasound, similar to that used in your obstetrician’s office, which is completely focused on your baby’s heart.
We have cardiologists (heart doctors) and technicians who are specially trained in the evaluation of babies’ hearts. At Doernbecher we have the only pediatric certified echo lab (ICAEL) in the region staffed with sonographers who have special certification in fetal heart studies. Should the echocardiogram show a problem with the heart, doctors on our team will work closely with you, our high-risk obstetrical program and your obstetrician to coordinate the pre-birth and newborn care of the infant with heart disease.
We also have a telemedicine program with many other hospitals in Oregon and Washington, allowing those hospitals or high risk obstetric offices to transmit echocardiograms on your baby to specialist at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. Based on the findings, we can recommend the best course of care for you and your baby.