Congenital heart disease (being born with a heart defect) is the most common birth defect in this country, effecting one out of every 120 babies. Due to major advances in medical and surgical care, over the past 40+ years, more than 90% of these patients are surviving into adulthood. In 2005, it was estimated that for the first time in history, there were more adults living with congenital heart disease than children. Currently, there are estimated to be over 2 million adults with congenital heart disease in the United States and this number continues to rise by approximately 5% each year.
Adolescents and adults with congenital heart disease have different considerations than children. Because of these factors, specialized centers have been developed across the country to care for adolescents and adults, because most adult cardiologists are not trained in congenital heart disease. Nationwide Children’s Hospital is fortunate to have one such specialized program, allowing adolescents and adults to continue their cardiac care at the same institution.
In partnership with The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, the Adolescent and Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD) Program at Nationwide Children's Hospital was created to meet the medical and surgical needs of this unique and complex population. The ACHD program is comprised of a dedicated team of medical experts who have devoted their careers to the care of adult congenital heart disease patients. Our cardiologists are Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics as well as Adult and Pediatric cardiology, therefore understanding your heart defect, surgeries, and other adult issues. A full range of services are available to our patients.
The Heart Center can provide adolescent and adult patients with the full array of cardiac services, including diagnostic and treatment capabilities, pulmonary hypertension and transplant services. We also offer medical, surgical and transcatheter therapies for cardiovascular high-risk pregnancies.
The mission and goals of the Adolescent and Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD) Program at Nationwide Children's Hospital and The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center are to:
Provide comprehensive care for the adolescent and adult with congenital heart disease, regardless of age or severity of illness – This requires a coordinated team approach encompassing the initial evaluation, explanation of therapeutic options, innovative surgical and transcatheter therapies and consultative follow up.
Maintain a detailed patient database to support basic and clinical research in the field of adolescent and adult congenital heart disease.
Educate medical students, residents, nurses and physicians at Nationwide Children's Hospital and The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in the subspecialty area of adult congenital heart disease.
Provide a fully-funded, 24-month ACHD fellowship board-certification program for those interested in a cardiovascular career specializing in the care of adults with congenital heart disease. Cardiovascular fellows completing either internal medicine or pediatric cardiology are eligible to apply. The program is specifically designed to follow and meet proposed guidelines for subspecialty ACHD board certification.
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Our program is proud of the work we do. Here is one example showcasing our growth in patient visits.