Life is not Measured in Minutes, but in Heartbeats!

Apr 12, 2024

Have you ever wondered what challenges a pediatric cardiologist faces or which treatments are best for critical heart diseases?

These questions and more were posed, debated, and answered during the Salzburg CHOP Seminar in Pediatric Cardiology, which lasted from April 7-13, 2024.

The focus of the course was on the diagnosis, prognosis, and management of common congenital and acquired heart defects. Other topics included the genetic basis of congenital heart defects, and the management of arrhythmias and pulmonary hypertension in children.

This week’s experts were course director Dr. Chitra Ravishankar from CHOP, co-course director Dr. Ina Michel-Behnke from the Medical University Vienna, Dr. Sulaima Albinni from the Medical University Vienna, Dr. Elizabeth Goldmuntz from CHOP, Dr. Christopher M. Janson from CHOP, Dr. Joseph W. Rossano from CHOP, and Dr. Dominik Wiedemann from the University Clinic St. Poelten.

This week’s group was made up of 35 fellows from 30 countries. Their medical specialties included general pediatrics, cardiac surgery, pediatric cardiology, and pediatric emergency medicine. The participants were keen on learning more about how to improve their patient care and presenting cases from their own professional lives.

Some of the topics featured in the fellows’ case presentations were significantly large pericardial effusion, kawasaki disease or multisystem inflammatory syndrome, and tricuspid valve insufficiency.

Dr. Ravishankar defines her highlight of the week as:

“We heard firsthand about the global variability in the practice of pediatric cardiology and the different challenges faced by physicians and other providers caring for children with heart defects. It was heartwarming to see both the resilience of these physicians and their enthusiasm for the seminar.”

During the faculty’s lectures, interesting topics, pertaining to various heart problems that children face, were explored. Dr. Ravishankar spoke on the diagnosis and management of the neonate with critical heart disease, Dr. Michel-Behnke lectured on “Aortic Coarctation from Fetus to Adult”, while Dr. Rossano discussed mechanical circulatory support and heart transplantation. Many more lectures ensued throughout the week that captivated the audiences’ attention.

Huyen Nguyen Thi, MD

Huyen Nguyen Thi, MD

OMI Fellow from Vietnam

“Dr. Ravishankar’s lecture on the diagnosis and management of the neonate with critical heart disease was my personal highlight. She emphasized the role of examining the baby carefully, including checking femoral pulses, and measuring SPO2 and 4 limb blood pressure.”

Andrija Pavlovic, MD

Andrija Pavlovic, MD

OMI Fellow from Serbia

“I could talk to Dr. Janson about the dilemmas I had regarding my patients with ventricular arrhythmia. The discussion was wonderful, and I felt reassured in terms of strategies I implemented so far, but Dr. Janson also provided some useful tips and tricks.”

Wilhelmina Brown, MD

Wilhelmina Brown, MD

OMI Fellow from Ghana

“The day took an interactive turn with case presentations by fellows. There were so many different cases from all over the world, which gave me a new outlook to pediatric cardiology.”