Led by Erik Michelfelder, MD, the Fetal Cardiology Program takes an interdisciplinary approach to caring for fetuses diagnosed with structural or functional heart disease, as well as compassionately supporting and educating expectant family members. The program team includes cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons and cardiac interventionists as indicated for specific heart conditions. They collaborate closely with local and regional obstetricians, maternal-fetal medicine specialists, neonatologists and delivery centers to manage high risk deliveries. The program also offers prenatal genetic counseling, social work support and interaction with specialized cardiac nurses.
“In certain fetal cardiac conditions, there is a high risk of the baby becoming very unstable immediately after birth and requiring some sort of urgent intervention,” Dr. Michelfelder said. “In those cases, we organize a team of specialists to strategize with neonatologists and obstetricians at the birth hospitals to deliver care as quickly as possible, minimizing instability and improving outcomes.”
In 2022, the fetal cardiology program team performed more than 2,600 fetal echocardiograms, making it one of the largest fetal cardiology programs in the country. With 13 clinics across Georgia, the program can provide convenient access to families needing fetal cardiac care throughout the state. Their extensive experience in cardiac imaging allows each family to receive a comprehensive, specialized fetal cardiac evaluation, including a detailed plan and recommendations for future care to both the referring physician and family.
Why choose Children’s for Fetal Cardiology care?
- Fetal cardiologists trained in advanced fetal cardiac imaging.
- Accredited in fetal echocardiography. The Intersocietal Accreditation Commission Echocardiography Accreditation (IACEL) reviews Children’s fetal cardiology program for fetal echocardiogram study completeness and image quality and accuracy.
- Advanced fetal echocardiography that includes Early Gestation Fetal Imaging that can be done as early as 13-14 weeks gestation.
- Comprehensive care that includes our collaboration and high-risk delivery planning with OB/MFM and delivery centers.
Collaborative, Comprehensive Care at the Children’s Fetal Cardiology Program
Contributing Author: Erik “Rick” Michelfelder, MD
For more information about Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Cardiology and our pediatric cardiology specialists, click here.