At the St. Louis Children’s and Washington University Heart Center, we offer the most advanced treatment for even the smallest hearts. We treat a wide range of children with heart failure, giving stressed families new hope.
Whether your child needs medical management (medication) for heart failure or surgery such as a heart transplant, our team brings innovative thinking and world-class experience. We blend the tried-and-true with new techniques. That’s how we are able to make advancements such as sending the youngest heart failure patient in the world home with an implanted device.
Heart Failure Care: Why Choose The Heart Center?
When your child is sick, it is important to choose a hospital that has a depth of experience and specialized expertise. We have both, which is why so many doctors and other children’s hospitals refer families to us. We are known for:
- Treating complex heart failure: We are a national destination for treating children with heart failure. We specialize in handling the heart failure cases that other hospitals turn away and finding success for families.
- Being a leader in heart transplant: We are one of the largest pediatric heart transplant centers in the country. Our surgical, cardiac support and critical care teams work together to care for every aspect of your child’s health.
- Having world-renowned doctors: Our doctors are internationally recognized for the depth of their expertise in treating pediatric heart failure. That means your child will receive the world’s best care.
- Sending children home sooner: We believe in letting children be children, and that means going home sooner. We discharged the youngest heart failure patient with an implanted device in the world.
- Reducing the need for surgery: By using advanced technology and fresh thinking, we are able to delay, or even avoid, heart transplant or open-heart surgery.
- Pioneering how devices are used: We are the only children’s hospital to use devices to support infants with congenital heart failure with a 100 percent success rate.
Heart Failure Services We Offer
We can treat any child with heart failure, from the straightforward to the most complex. We lead the way in these areas:
Ventricular Assist Devices (VAD)
A VAD is a small mechanical pump that supports heart function and blood flow in children with weak or diseased hearts. A VAD pumps blood from the ventricles (lower heart chambers), usually the left ventricle, to the rest of the body. St. Louis Children's Hospital was one of the first centers in the nation to introduce a VAD program. We currently have some of the highest success rates in the nation for VAD placement, and we are able to send even very young children home safely with a VAD. Learn more about how we use ventricular assist devices.
Our heart transplant program is one of the largest and most active pediatric heart transplant programs in the country. We have successfully transplanted hearts to children of all ages, including newborns. With heart transplant success rates well above national averages, we help more children with advanced heart failure live healthy, active lives. Read about the heart transplant program at St. Louis Children's Hospital.