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Anesthesia
Types of Anesthesia
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For Kids! What is Anesthesia?
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Our Services

Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)

When your child needs special care for a critical health condition, you can be assured that he or she can be in no better hands than those of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Covenant Children's. Our physicians, nurses and other care professionals are expertly trained and skilled in caring for infants and children under serious or life-threatening circumstances. They also see adults with congenital heart defects. The PICU Staff are trained to deal with critical health situations such as neurological disorders, cardiac disease, respiratory distress or failure, oncological management, and multisystem trauma. They have the skills to quickly assess and treat your child to achieve the best possible outcome. In fact, the PICU received their Beacon Award for Excellence-Silver Ranking for their nursing excellence. They are the first pediatric unit in Texas to receive this award under the new accreditation. The Intensivists serving the PICU are all board-certified pediatric intensivists. They are "in-house" available 24/7 to best serve your child's needs.

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

Covenant's NICU is level III C, the highest-rated NICU in the region, and the only one in Texas to offer special NICU equipment for triplets or quadruplets designed to allow the siblings to sleep in the same pod for sibling bonding and healthier babies. Opened in 2007, the newly renovated NICU offers 34 beds, five more beds than the previous NICU.

At Covenant Children's, we understand that sometimes being the parent of a baby in NICU can be overwhelming. That's why our NICU staff is always available to answer questions and listen to your concerns. When it comes to your baby's care, we want you to have as much information as possible.

Diagnostic and Interventional Cardiology

Dr. Robinson provides a variety of cardiac interventions in the Cath Lab which aids with the prevention of needing open heart surgery. The ultimate goal is to provide the least invasive type of procedure. With the ability to provide these types cardiac interventions, it leads to less open heart surgeries. If fact, Dr. Robinson sees more patients in the Cath Lab than other facilities do. Dr. Robinson partners with the assistance of Dr. Colon who provides the Intraprocedural Transesphogeal Echocardiogram. Together they work to achieve the best outcome for the children. These Cardiac Interventions include:

  • Diagnostic Right and Left Heart Caths- Diagnostic catheterizations are used to measure pressure, blood flow, and oxygen saturations as it passes through the heart. It is beneficial in deciding the best treatment plan for your child.
  • Right Heart Cath- Looking at the "right side of the heart," unoxygenated blood
  • Left Heart Cath- Looking at the "left side of the heart," oxygenated blood
  • Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) closure or Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) closure- Closing a hole between the right and left atria by using a closing device.
  • Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) closure- Closing a hole between the right and left ventricles by using a closing device. It can be utilized as the primary treatment before heart surgery. Types of VSD closed are muscular and/or post infarct VSD.
  • Patent Ductus Arteriosus device closure- Using a device or coil to close the PDA.
  • Valvuloplasty- A procedure in which a balloon is inserted and inflated to stretch and open a narrowed heart valve. Valves involved are the aortic valve and the pulmonary valve.
  • Balloon and/or Stent Coarctation of the Aorta involved with the primary defect or as a result of a secondary defect- A procedure done to treat a coarcation in the Aorta. A procedure in which a catheter with a deflated (not filled up) balloon is gently threaded into the heart. The catheter goes into the middle of the coarctation where a balloon is inflated (filled up) to dilate or widen the narrow area. The balloon may be to be inflated and deflated a few times to make the area as wide as possible. Sometimes, a stent will have to be placed if the balloon is not effective. A stent is a mesh device that holds the area open.
  • Venous Angioplasty and/or Stents- A procedure done to treat narrowed or block veins. A procedure in which a catheter with a deflated (not filled up) balloon is gently threaded into the heart. The catheter goes into the middle of the coarctation where a balloon is inflated (filled up) to dilate or widen the narrow area. The balloon may be to be inflated and deflated a few times to make the area as wide as possible. Sometimes, a stent will have to be placed if the balloon is not effective. A stent is a mesh device that holds the area open.
  • Transesophageal Echo (TEE)- An ultrasound probe that is passed down your child's esophagus to allow your Doctor to see the heart structures and blood flow during the cardiac catheterization and/ or cardiac surgery.
  • Intracardiac Echo- This is done under conscious sedation when a TEE is not performed because it is either not necessary or contraindicated. A small ultrasound probe is introduced into the vein and goes into the heart to visualize the heart. It is commonly used for ASD/PFO closures.
  • Hybrid Palliations- The Hybrid Palliation is the first step in treating Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. It takes place in the Hybrid Cath lab where initially a stent is placed in the PDA under cardiac catheterization. Then an atrial septostomy is done, (a hole is created between the right and left atriums). Finally, heart surgery is performed to band the branched pulmonary arteries. They are banded to limit the amount of blood flow going to the lungs. The banding has to be perfect so the right amount of blood flow goes to the lungs which allow the right amount of blood flow to go to the body

Cardiac MRI

The Cardiac MRI is noninvasive and painless. Cardiac MRI is used to take a detailed picture of your child's heart. It evaluates the anatomy and function of the heart, valves, major vessels and surrounding structures. The Cardiac MRI provides better diagnostics than an echo because it provides accurate measurements such as volumetric measurements of the ventricles and regurgitation of the heart valves.

Pediatric Anesthesia

Children born with heart diseases often have unique and complex anatomy and physiology. The specialized team caring for your child at Covenant Children's Heart Center include physicians specialty trained in intensive care, cardiology, cardiac surgery and anesthesiology.

At Covenant Children's, pediatric cardiac anesthesiologists are on-call and available 24/7. Our specialty trained pediatric cardiac anesthesiologists are joined by members of the pediatric anesthesiology team who assist in the care of children with heart disease for non-open heart procedures and testing.

As anesthesiologists our primary role is to create an anesthesia plan specifically tailored to your child's heart disease and the procedure they are having done. This will include administering anesthetics to ensure your child is asleep, feels no pain, and has no awareness or memory of the surgery, procedure, or test and "waking-up" from anesthesia. We monitor more than 20 different functions including delivery of anesthesia, breathing, temperature, blood clotting and even brain oxygenation. We are with your child from start to finish, no matter how simple or complex the procedure, ensuring a smooth transition into the intensive care or recovery environment.

A sedative is often prescribed before the procedure is to start to help relieve anxiety, and then the anesthesia is administered through an IV catheter, by gas, or often by a combination of medications tailored to the specific procedure being done and the recovery plan.

Your child may need a pediatric cardiac anesthesiologist while non-open heart procedures are done. Things like dental surgery, cardiac catheterization, CT scans or MRI scans, or even echocardiograms if they have trouble holding still. We are here to ensure continuity of care by being available in case your child comes for repeat procedures or tests. Our team is also trained to assist in the care of patients with adult congenital heart disease.

You will have time to personally talk to a cardiac anesthesiologist on the day of your child's procedure or testing. If you wish to have additional questions answered please call the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, 806-725-0019, and ask to be called back by the pediatric cardiac anesthesiologist on-call.

Covenant Children's Hospital
806.725.KIDS
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