If your child is experiencing heart failure, you need care from top experts who specialize in helping kids. At Atrium Health Levine Children’s, our team sees more kids with heart failure than any other hospital in the region. We can connect your child to the tailored care that’s right for them, whether it’s medication, surgery or help staying healthy after their heart condition has been fixed.

Make an appointment

To learn more about heart failure treatment at Levine Children’s, contact us at 704-373-1813.

About heart failure

Heart failure is a condition where your child’s heart can’t pump enough blood for their body to function properly. Heart failure is usually the result of another condition such as:

  • Congenital heart disease, or heart problems that children are born with. These include ventricular septal defects (holes in the heart’s walls) and aortic valve stenosis (heart valves that are too narrow).
  • Exposure to some medicines, such as chemotherapy.
  • Genetic conditions, or hereditary illnesses caused by your child’s genes. These include cardiomyopathy (a disease that makes it difficult for the heart to pump blood) and tetralogy of Fallot (a rare combination of four heart defects).
  • Failing single ventricles, which happen when one of your child’s heart chambers isn’t strong enough to work properly.
  • Myocarditis, when the heart muscle is swollen. This makes it harder for your child’s heart to pump blood.

Treatments

Our team creates a custom care plan, tailored to each child’s unique needs. We offer some of the most advanced treatments available in our region, including:

  • Medications. Some medicines (usually pills) can help the heart beat stronger or with a more regular rhythm.
  • Surgery. Each member of our pediatric heart surgery team has special training and years of experience operating on children’s hearts. These experts use the latest surgical techniques and perform everything from simple heart repairs to total heart transplants. We use advanced tools – like a 3D printer that creates an exact model of your child’s heart – to understand your child’s anatomy and plan the best way to conduct their surgery.
  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). If children have sudden heart failure, ECMO is a machine that can support their heart and lungs while they recover. ECMO works like an artificial lung, putting oxygen in the blood so your child’s heart and lungs can rest. We’re one of the few hospitals in our region that offers ECMO for kids. Our team was honored with the Award for Excellence from the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization in 2020, underscoring our ability to provide leading care.
  • Ventricular assist device (VAD). This is a small machine that doctors carefully place at the bottom of your child’s heart to help it pump blood. We offer the latest VADs, including one of the smallest heart pumps available, to help children’s hearts pump better.
  • Heart transplant. We’re one of the few hospitals in our region with specialized expertise in heart transplants for children. Our team takes extra steps to make this procedure as easy as possible on your child and family – for example, we do extensive testing to make sure the new heart will work well for your child.

Supportive services

Heart conditions can affect every part of your family’s life – from finances to mental health. We offer many supportive services to help kids and families throughout their heart journey, including:

  • The HEARTest Yard. A program that provides in-home nursing support for children and families as they transition home from the hospital. This program is funded by the Greg Olsen Foundation and was launched after the former Carolina Panthers football player and his wife, Kara, had a baby with a severe heart defect.

  • Camp LUCK. This summer camp is for kids with heart conditions and their siblings. Camp LUCK helps children build a community with other kids who are having similar experiences.

  • Child life specialists. These experts help kids and families prepare for medical procedures, understand treatments, and recover through games and play.

  • Cardiac neurodevelopmental program. Some heart conditions may affect how a child’s brain develops. Levine Children’s is home to a team of brain development experts who will monitor your child’s growth and help them overcome any neurodevelopmental challenges their heart condition may cause.

  • Pastoral care. Our chaplains offer religious and spiritual support when families request a visit.

  • Nurse navigators. These nurses support and build close relationships with each patient and family. They become experts on each child’s condition and medical history, teach parents at-home care, attend appointments to answer questions, discuss treatments and more.

  • Nutritionists. Our nutritionists make sure kids get all the nutrients they need to stay strong.

  • Social workers. Social workers help families deal with all aspects of their child’s heart condition, from finding resources like support groups to seeking financial assistance for treatment.

Why choose Levine Children's?

  • Part of a world-class heart program. All Levine Children’s heart specialists and surgeons are part of Atrium Health Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute – home to world-renowned specialists in pediatric and adult heart care.

  • Experience. We’re home to fellowship-trained heart specialists who spent extra years in school learning to care for kids like yours. We’ve helped hundreds of children overcome heart failure, and we’ll use this experience to help your child have a happier, healthier future.

  • Comprehensive team. Kids with heart failure often need care from many different doctors and specialists, and Levine Children’s is the only place in the region where kids can see all these doctors in one place. This means our electrophysiologists, cardiologists, surgeons and other experts will each study your child’s illness. Then they’ll work together to create a custom treatment plan that addresses all your child’s needs.

  • Specialized cardiac intensive care unit (CICU). Our pediatric CICU is a place where critically ill babies, children, teens and young adults get care from a team that’s 100% focused on heart problems. It’s one of only a handful of pediatric CICUs on the East Coast, and it’s home to full-time board-certified doctors and a team of specialized nurses. These experts offer 24/7 care, and their advanced training helps kids with heart failure and other conditions achieve better outcomes.

  • Innovative treatments. Our doctors team up with experts around the world on research projects to develop better heart treatments. These research projects can give some of our patients access to the latest therapies, techniques and devices before they’re widely available.

  • Top surgery outcomes. Levine Children’s has some of the region’s best heart surgery outcomes, and U.S. News & World Report ranks us among the best children’s hospitals for cardiology and heart surgery.

The HEARTest Yard Congenital Heart Center

1001 Blythe Blvd, Suite 500
Charlotte, NC 28203

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