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Children’s heart program ranked among best

MUSC Children’s Hospital received top marks again for children’s heart programs in national rankings compiled by  U.S. News Media Group’s 2010 edition of America’s Best Children’s Hospitals.
The results, published online at, will be featured in the August issue of U.S. News & World Report, available on newsstands July 27.
“We are indeed proud to be recognized again as one of the top children’s hospitals nationally for heart and heart surgery,” said J. Philip Saul, M.D., MUSC Children’s Hospital medical director and director of pediatric cardiology. “We are particularly pleased by our mortality ranking in the highest category (3 of 3), which only five of the top 20 programs received. This indicates that children with complex heart conditions requiring surgery are more likely to survive at MUSC than almost any other program in the U.S.”
The Children’s Hospital’s heart program has obtained a 99 percent 30-day surgical survival rate for the last six years (2002-2008), ranking it among the best in the world.
MUSC President Ray Greenberg, M.D., Ph.D.,  said that the children of South Carolina are fortunate to have a heart health program that is among the best in the nation. “The many patients and families served by Dr. Saul and his colleagues know firsthand what a difference this kind of care can make in their lives.”
MUSC physicians and surgeons use a variety of advanced imaging and interventional techniques to optimize planning and treatment, including: 3D echo, cardiac CT and MRI, diagnostic catheterization and non-surgical interventions such as minimally invasive catheter procedures to complement, postpone or even eliminate the need for cardiac surgery.
John Sanders, Children’s Hospital administrator,  said the recognition provided by U.S. News & World Report shows the hard work and passion that the team has for providing the best care possible for the children it serves.
“When parents research the outcomes for various programs across the country as they are looking for a center for their child, MUSC Children’s Hospital is routinely high on their radar screens,” he said.  “We are very proud of the physicians and all the staff involved in our Children’s Heart Program.”
The Children’s Heart Center supports family-centered comprehensive care enhanced by one of the country’s only dedicated pediatric cardiac intensive care units, designed for the critical care of all pediatric cardiac cases including postoperative monitoring and management. A multidisciplinary nursing team with expertise in caring for children with heart defects minimizes discomfort and stress for every patient. Other family support services such as child-life specialists further enhance the patient’s experience. This team includes a statewide network that supports children with heart disease.
More than 20 pediatric cardiologists throughout South Carolina and two pediatric cardiac surgeons in Charleston provide coordinated care unique to South Carolina through the Children’s Heart Program of South Carolina. Cardiology groups are based in four locations—Charleston, Columbia, Greenville and Florence—with outreach clinics in other cities. All of the surgical and catheterization procedures are performed in The Children’s Heart Center at the MUSC Children’s Hospital. This system allows for the highest level of care by the specialized teams while still assuring that most of the patient’s care is delivered closer to home.
The 2010 America’s Best Children’s Hospitals, the most extensive listing of its kind, includes an Honor Roll of 10 pediatric hospitals ranked in all 10 specialties. Hospitals are ranked in cancer, diabetes and endocrine disorders, digestive disorders, heart and heart surgery, kidney disorders, neonatal care, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, respiratory disorders, and urology.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Catalyst Online is published weekly by the MUSC Office of Public Relations for the faculty, employees and students of the Medical University of South Carolina. The Catalyst Online editor, Kim Draughn, can be reached at 792-4107 or by email, Editorial copy can be submitted to The Catalyst Online and to The Catalyst in print by fax, 792-6723, or by email to To place an ad in The Catalyst hardcopy, call Island Publications at 849-1778, ext. 201.