Madi was born with a congenital heart defect. She represents one of 40,000 infants in the United States that is born with one each year. Because of that number, congenital heart defects are the most common type of birth defect, but it is also the most critical.
Children with critical congenital heart defects need surgeries. Multiple invasive surgeries can be pretty taxing on the body. However, with the advancement of modern medicine, more noninvasive procedures like echocardiograms are being used to evaluate the heart’s structure and function.
For Madi, this means she can manage her heart defect well into adulthood.
Recently, Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida Cardiovascular Services in Lee Collier and Charlotte counties has been granted a three-year term of accreditation by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC) in Echocardiography in the areas of Fetal and Pediatric Transthoracic.
It was accredited in October of 2017, making them the only hospital in the southwest Florida area with an accreditation.
IAC provides accreditation programs for vascular testing, echocardiography, nuclear/PET, MRI, diagnostic CT, dental CT, carotid stenting, vein treatment and management and cardiac electrophysiology.
To get an echocardiogram, any sonographer can do the test at any facility
This further assesses the quality of care pediatric cardiologists like Dr. Eric Eason, D.O., FACC and Suying Lam, M.D. of Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida are giving to their patients.
Having an IAC accreditation separates a hospital.
“To get an echocardiogram, any sonographer can do the test at any facility,” Dr. Eason told me, “But by us having the IAC accreditation it tells you that the sonographer has a certain type of training, they perform a certain amount of volume that guarantees quality…so when you come into the office and come to do your test, you know these people are serious about how they do their job.”
Dr. Eason has been working closely with Madi for the past five years. He says the new accreditation gives him more work but allows the hospital to be more thorough when dealing with congenital heart defects.
“Every year the IAC comes in and reviews records,” he says. “It makes the job more challenging, but it makes the job more complete and accurate.”
Madi’s mom, Robin, says there are times when she forgets that Madi has a heart defect.
“She still swims, and runs,” she laughed. “Every once in a while, I have told the coach and say, hey I forgot to tell you, Madi has a congenital heart defect.”
Though congenital heart defects are among the most common type of birth defect, modern medicine has allowed children like Madi to manage their hearts well into their adult lives. Hospitals like Golisano Children’s Hospital here in SWFL are striving to stay on top of advancements in medicine. It’s proven through their accreditation with the IAC.