Discoveries and Innovations in Women's and Children's Health

Uploaded by schoolofmedicine on 12.03.2012

Building beyond tomorrow. Our commitment to discoveries and innovations in Women’s and
Children’s Health. At the University of Maryland School of Medicine our very accomplished
faculty places us at the forefront of Women’s and Children’s care. From the very first
images of the developing fetal heart through childbirth, infancy and beyond our programs
provide the very best care found anywhere. The extraordinary new fetal medicine and pediatric
program at the University of Maryland School of Medicine have garnered statewide and national
attention. Families receiving care for the most complex conditions have discovered the
light of hope. I’ll never forget because that was the day, you know, that we met Dr.
Harmon and we started our journey of hope. We’re learning more and more that fetal
life determines many things, far beyond the few weeks after the baby is born that extend
to the sixth, seventh and eighth decades of people’s lives. So more and more interest
is focused on finding out things about fetal life that have applications to long-term health.
Because I had caught everything so early he didn’t need surgery at all. Dr. Harmon and
his team gave us an awesome gift and he helped us tremendously. With cutting edge imaging
technology, University of Maryland School of Medicine fetal care doctors can identify
problems in the first trimester of pregnancy. You know, we start to look at the baby and
see if the baby is normal and developing because the first three months is the time when the
organs actually form. Now we’re able to take 3-D pictures of the beating heart and
expand it to a point where we can make accurate doses of congenital heart disease even when
the heart itself is about half an inch across. When Kelly and Rob Lyles were told that one
of their twins might not survive, only the University of Maryland Center of Advanced
Fetal Care had the sophisticated imaging available to give them hope for both their twins. They’re
able to measure the blood flow in and out of the heart, and the brain, the oxygen levels,
which the other hospital wasn’t able to do. The detail, you know, in prior ultrasounds
wasn’t good enough for that. As each week passed we became more optimistic and hopeful.
The expertise of the School of Medicine faculty, in using life saving, intrauterine fetoscopy
techniques has made the center for advanced fetal care a statewide referral center attracting
patients from distant locations. So we see patients that are at high risks for problems
that we treat or try to treat and we see patients with very specialized problems that are sent
from far away for intrauterine treatment. These very advanced techniques are able to
correct life threatening structural problems. For Jody Devee’s son opening the blockage
which was preventing his bladder from draining meant survival. He had this blockage; we wanted
to know was there a way around it, and Dr. Harmon gave us that way. With a broad range
of nationally acclaimed School of Medicine faculty doctors the fetal and pediatric programs
are in a unique position to offer multi-disciplinary specialists who provide a continuum of care
from pregnancy throughout childhood. We are actually starting from the fetal diagnostic
and maternal care point and then getting all the other specialties involved early on. So
we’re sort of building the pyramid of care from the right perspective the way that we
see. And we have a very constructive collaboration with all the subspecialties and everybody
is very excited about that. So now we have the continuity of neonatal care and pediatric
follow up, which means that our work is multiplied in its importance and sophistication. For
the smallest and sickest newborns care is provided by the University of Maryland’s
Level III NICU, which coordinates closely with both the fetal medicine specialists as
well as with the specialists the baby will require after delivery. We actually get involved
in terms of consulting with the family; we actually meet them over in the center for
advanced fetal care during one of their appointment times so the care is initiated early from
our perspective and we follow the patient, really, through gestation until they deliver,
and then once the baby delivers we do provide the primary care here in our NICU with the
help of some of our subspecialists. Over the past five years, the University of Maryland
School of Medicine has expanded its pediatric services to accommodate the urgent needs of
children throughout the state bringing in over 50 specialists to develop the highest
caliber programs. The Department of Pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine
has built a department of specialists that truly is performing miracles on a daily basis
and the work that we’re doing in terms of providing patient care, in terms of our research,
in terms of our teaching is drawing accolades and attention from Maryland and beyond. The
expertise of our faculty in pediatric surgery enables us to handle the most complicated
cases providing hope and life for children who need to beat the odds. And they have performed
miracles in the operating room and working together we have really saved many, many lives
as a collaborative effort. Daniel’s hope for life has been a collaborative effort of
fetal care doctors, the NICU and now pediatric surgeons. And we have a good number of children
now who have particularly severe urine tract abnormalities, children who not otherwise
have survived or not really have been given any hope to the families. These children are
born and won’t produce any urine right from birth, and we know individually that as a
team we can provide care that is second to none anywhere. You can’t get that anywhere
else. I mean he has the experience, he has the knowhow and he has the practice, and to
put all of those together, in my mind, is no short feat and kind of a step off miraculous.
Another vital area, responding to the needs of Maryland’s children, developed under
the University of Maryland School of Medicine stellar pediatric initiative is the children’s
heart program. So the children’s heart program is working in close collaboration with several
other premiere programs of the University of Maryland. So with the center for advanced
fetal care we help in the diagnosis of congenital heart disease in very young fetuses. For infants
born with heart defects, nationally acclaimed specialty pediatric surgeons are prepared
to take over the newborn’s care. And I think that’s what the strength is here is that
we can provide that continuum of care in one hospital. In a typical situation that does
not occur. While Dr. Kaushal often performs heart surgeries on tiny newborns with congenital
heart defects detected in utero. For older children, heart conditions may be totally
unsuspected until a crisis situation arises. It was close to the last ten minutes of the
game, her team was losing by one point. She scored the tying goal, and she actually scored
the winning goal right before she went into cardiac arrest. And because of her congenital
defect to her coronary circulation, her heart stopped working so she was pretty much dead
for a few moments. We made the diagnosis that one of her coronary arteries was actually
arising from the wrong area of aorta. I could not have asked for a better hospital or group
of doctors. He was one of the best surgeons that we could have had doing the surgery on
her. With today’s focus on new medical horizons the University of Maryland School of Medicine
faculty are actively involved in research, constantly improving the pediatric care for
tomorrow. I think research is an integral part of working in an academic medical center.
I mean, I could not imagine, you know, working without trying to find out more details about
a condition that we’re treating and about the factors that affect the outcome, and that’s
ultimately what research is. We, within our division, do clinical research in addition
to the basic science research, and we’re always looking for opportunities to strengthen
what we can do. So we’re developing this program to be the first in the United States
and also the first in the world and trying to understand if we can use stem cells for
children with heart failure. The key to the mission of the School of Medicine is educating
the physicians of the future and training the researchers who will advance clinical
practice. And we believe we have an obligation, not only to train the next generation of pediatricians,
but to retain them for the State of Maryland. So the next generation of children will have
great pediatricians. I knew I was interested in maternal fetal medicine and this is, you
know, one of the best places to train for that. It’s a very strong program in terms
of high risk. So that idea of the MD/PhD program is that you can identify relevant clinical
problems with the medical degree that you have and then with the PhD training have the
tools to address those issues through research and hopefully help improve people’s lives.
The fetal care doctors and pediatricians of the University of Maryland School of Medicine
faculty have a commitment to passionate care and to giving each child the best possible
life. We approach patients and families as it’s a privilege to do what we do. We care,
we heal, we teach and we discover. It brings a great joy when you can go and talk to the
family afterwards that everything went well and we expect great things from their baby.
You feel like you saved life. For the families and children who receive healing and love.
There are no words that can express that; we’re very grateful, and I’m actually
going to cry. I don’t take it lightly that we have been blessed with such an amazing
hospital and such an amazing group of doctors, nurses and staff who care so deeply about
these children but also have the expertise to help save a life. They gave us faith that
we would have two babies.