Preventing Complications

Maria Fareri Children's Hospital has established procedures for preventing serious complications of pediatric cardiac surgery such as infection and developmental delays.

Preventing Infection

Our pediatric cardiac surgery team makes every attempt to decrease the risk of infection during your child's surgery and hospital stay.

  • Topical Antibiotics
    Prior to and following surgery, an antibiotic ointment, Mupirocin, will be applied to your child's nose, an identified reservoir for certain bacteria which may cause infections following surgery. Your child's nose will also be swabbed to verify and identify any organisms which may already be growing there. If existing bacteria are found, then the application of Mupirocin is continued post-operatively.
  • Internal Antibiotics
    During surgery, intravenous antibiotics are administered and continued post-operatively. Additionally, the central venous catheters placed in major veins are coated with antibiotics as an additional step towards infection prevention.
  • Hand-Washing
    Westchester Medical Center enforces adherence to routine hand-washing to prevent infection throughout the entire medical campus. Maria Fareri Children's Hospital is no exception and there is strict adherence to hand washing- antibiotic gels in dispensers are placed outside each room.

Preventing Developmental Delays

Historically, surgical repair of some congenital heart conditions required the use of circulatory arrest, a process in which the patient is cooled to very low temperatures (16 degrees centigrade) on a heart-lung machine and the circulation is stopped in order to provide a quiet and bloodless field for the surgical repair. However, prolonged circulatory arrest times have been associated with the onset of developmental delays and seizures.

At Maria Fareri Children's Hospital, we use a method called antegrade cerebral perfusion in specific situations to decrease the length of circulatory arrest times and to help reduce the incidence of seizures and developmental delays.