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Cardiology

Keeping hearts healthy

For over 45 years, the Division of Cardiology of the Department of Pediatrics has provided services to Atlantic Canadian children and families from the prenatal period through to adolescence.

We offer a full range of diagnostic and treatment facilities through Children’s Heart Centre at the IWK, and provide outreach services throughout the Maritimes. These services are provided through travelling clinics, ECG and echocardiographic referrals, and live echocardiographic transmissions, which allow for faster diagnosis and treatment, where required.

We also place a heavy emphasis on educating learners and families, promoting cardiovascular health and research.

Clinical activities

We make a big difference in the cardiac health of Maritime children. Each year, we admit about 300 patients, see 2,600 outpatients, and perform 1,000 inpatient consults. IWK cardiologists also perform or interpret nearly 100 catheterizations, more than 3,000 echocardiograms and over 4,000 ECGs annually.

Our other clinical offerings in which our cardiologists are involved include:

  • surgical and post-operative care for all forms of pediatric cardiovascular disorders
  • pediatric inherited arrhythmia clinic
  • teaching clinics jointly staffed by pediatric and adult cardiologists
  • electrophysiology and ablation procedures
  • fetal echocardiography interpretation and counselling

Teaching activities

Our teaching activities include:

  • weekly combined cardiology-surgery conferences
  • weekly echocardiographic teaching sessions for cardiology trainees
  • weekly teaching rounds on topics in pediatric cardiology
  • weekly cardiology clinical rounds and daily ward rounds
  • monthly cardiac sciences teaching rounds
  • monthly pediatric cardiology journal club and joint journal clubs with PICU and cardiac surgery
  • annual visiting professor in pediatric cardiology
  • undergraduate medical teaching
  • postgraduate resident half day as assigned
  • CME events as requested for the community teachers program

We also offer a postgraduate residency training program in pediatric cardiology. The program is accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the American Board of Pediatrics.

Research interests

Supported by both internal and external grant funding, individuals in the division are exploring various interests in pediatric cardiology including:

  • the epidemiology of congenital heart disease in the Maritimes
  • the cost-effectiveness of different models of care for children with cardiac problems
  • Alstrom’s syndrome
  • bicuspid aortic valve in children
  • the use of aminophylline as a diuretic in post-operative cardiac patients
  • the effect of congenital heart disease on pregnancy
  • the effects of various neuromodulators on the intrinsic cardiac nervous system
  • aspects of medical education

Our facilities

Our facilities include:

  • a dedicated outpatient clinic
  • a Siemens digital biplane catheterization laboratory  
  • an exercise laboratory with standard treadmill and metabolic exercise testing capabilities
  • an echocardiography laboratory equipped to perform both transthoracic and transesophageal studies. We can also receive live video transmissions of echocardiograms from seven regional hospitals through our transmitted echo service.
  • ECG facilities include access to standard 12-lead ECGs, 24-hour ECGs, loop ECG recording and telephone ECG transmissions
  • all MRI and spiral CT imaging facilities are in-house
  • fetal echocardiography is performed in-house and reviewed jointly with radiology
  • a computerized data base of patients to aid in clinical care and research

Our people

We’re lucky to have a strong team of faculty and staff. Our members include:

Within the IWK Children’s Heart Centre, we have four full-time and one part-time cardiologist on staff. Our team also includes a nurse practitioner, cath-lab nurses, nurse-sonographers, an ECG technologist, an exercise respiratory therapist and full-time administrative staff.

Contact info

Email: debbie.clarke@iwk.nshealth.ca
Phone: 902-470-8407

Fax: 902-470-6616

Address:
Children’s Heart Centre
IWK Health Centre
5850/5980 University Avenue
PO Box 9700
Halifax, NS
B3K 6R8