Care that Begins Before Birth
Congenital heart defects are the most common birth defects, occurring in approximately one out of every 125 live births. Many of these defects can be identified in utero with specialized fetal echocardiography. This can allow for immediate treatment if available, or more often counseling and planning that enhances outcomes.
Our fetal cardiology specialists work closely with the maternal-fetal medicine specialists at Indiana University Health University Hospital, IU Health North Hospital, Community Hospital North and others in the Indianapolis area. We routinely perform detailed fetal cardiac ultrasounds at these sites and provide immediate consultation and discussion.
Fetal echocardiograms also are performed at the Riley Outpatient Center at IU Health to accommodate patient and obstetric physician needs. We work closely with these referring physicians, as well as the surgical, neonatal and other Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health specialists necessary to help formulate the best course of treatment for the individual patient and specific congenital heart defect.
All the while, Riley at IU Health clinicians include parents and the referring physician in dialogue. Many patients are still able to deliver at their local hospital with their primary obstetrician. However, if in the best interest of the baby, sometimes delivery at IU Health Hospital is recommended, with immediate transfer of the infant to Riley Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at IU Health.
Advanced Neonatal Care Before and After Surgery
The 55-bed Riley Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at IU Health's has ranked in the nation's top five and, in partnership with Indiana University School of Medicine, is a National Institutes of Health research center.
The Riley Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at IU Health is staffed 24 hours a day with board certified neonatologists, supported by a large staff of neonatal nurse practitioners and clinical specialists. Riley at IU Health is one of the few centers offering extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) for patients with failing heart function and nitric oxide (NO) for patients with pulmonary hypertension.
The Riley Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at IU Health also is the training center for LifeLine Critical Care Transport's specialty neonatal teams. These teams provide care during transportation via mobile intensive care units, helicopter and airplane. No child in the region, state or nation is too far away to be treated at Riley at IU Health.