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UCLA Children’s Heart Center now open

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When the term “heart disease” is mentioned, older adults are usually envision; however, children, including infants, can suffer from heart problems. To address this need, the Children’s Heart Center at Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA is now operational. The facility’s grand opening was held on January 23, 2014.

UCLA notes that the Children's Heart Center provides world-class medical care in a nurturing environment for children with known or suspected heart disease. A full spectrum of care is provided; it begins with prenatal care, continues through infancy, childhood and adolescence, and then transitions into adulthood. The cheerful waiting room features a cheerful waiting room with a children’s play area. The facility contains five exam rooms, an exercise testing and device area, a dedicated counseling room, and a state-of-the-art maternal-fetal suite. It is located in the 200 UCLA Medical Plaza in Westwood adjacent to Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA and Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.

“The UCLA Children’s Heart Center represents a full-service, state-of-the-art outpatient cardiology facility for children of all ages with any kind of heart disease, from common heart conditions to the most complex congenital heart defects,” explained Dr. Mark Sklansky, professor and chief of pediatric cardiology at Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA and the center’s medical director. He added, “We provide everything a child with known or suspected heart disease may need, including diagnostic testing, detailed clinical evaluations, medical therapy, nutritional guidance and family support services, all in one convenient location.”

The Children's Heart Center’s maternal-fetal suite provides care for pregnant women whose fetus has known or suspected heart disease. Diagnostic testing, such as fetal echocardiographic evaluation are available. The procedure can be conducted as early as the twelfth week of pregnancy. When fetal heart disease is diagnosed, care is available from UCLA’s fetal cardiologists who work collaboratively with a multidisciplinary team to assure optimal outcomes. Infants that may require procedures such as heart catheterization or surgery can be delivered at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, which provides state-of-the-art care for even the most challenging heart problems. UCLA notes that the capability to deliver infants in the same facility where neonatal surgery and cardiac catheterization are performed avoids subjecting these fragile infants to the stress, risk and, delay that would occur with hospital transport; furthermore, and allows the new moms to remain near their newborns.

UCLA notes that the center is dedicated to serving the needs of all pediatric heart patients and their families. It is located adjacent to the Ahmanson UCLA Adult Congenital Heart Disease Center; thus, a smooth transition from pediatric care to adult care is available. If needed, appointments are available within 24 hours of referral.