Infographic: Heart-healthy tips for kids

As a pediatric cardiologist, I can assure you that forming heart-healthy habits will make a difference in your child’s life. Eating less fast food and decreasing time spent in front of a screen (TV or computer) are two very easy habits to start right now.

Check out this infographic on heart health for kids. Can you believe that for every 25 pounds of excess weight, the body needs to pump blood through an extra 5,000 miles of …Click here to continue reading

Talk to your pediatrician or OB/GYN about pulse oximetry screening — it saved my son’s life

Pulse oximetry screening saved Simon's life

Simon is now a thriving 18-month-old.

My son Simon was born in April 2011 at an area hospital. Soon after delivery I started to notice some “red flags,” like his breathing was a little fast, and at times his color did not look quite right. These red flags continued when we were discharged from the hospital, and Simon began feeding poorly and looking blue. Trying not to overreact, I took him to the pediatrician’s office where he received a pulse oximetry screening, which measures the amount of oxygen in the blood, and found he had low oxygen levels.

We were transported by ambulance to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin where Simon was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect. He was …Click here to continue reading

How Project Adam saved my life

Morgan Frain

Morgan Frain

My name is Morgan Frain, and I am 4 years old. On Jan. 7, 2012, my mom and dad took me to Lambeau Field in Green Bay for dinner and to play in the atrium. As we were getting ready to leave, my heart suddenly stopped and I fell to the ground. My dad turned me over and saw that my face was blue. He told my mom that they needed to do CPR, and told my 7-year-old sister, Hannah, to run and get help.

My mom started CPR right away, while a nice man from the Green Bay Packers security department brought my dad an …Click here to continue reading

Can heart surgery affect a child’s development?

Child with congenital heart diseaseWhen children have congenital heart disease (CHD) their road to recovery involves more than recovering from heart surgery. Research shows these children have a higher risk for developmental and learning problems compared to children without CHD. One reason for this is children with some forms of CHD spend an extended amount of time in the hospital recovering during a critical time for brain …Click here to continue reading

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin’s Project ADAM celebrates 62 lives saved

Project ADAM logoOctober is National Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month. Project ADAM (Automated Defibrillators in Adam’s Memory) announced this month that 62 lives have been saved since the program was founded in 1999.

Project ADAM is a Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin program that helps schools throughout the nation prepare for and respond to cardiac emergencies. The program was …Click here to continue reading

Project ADAM honors school nurse for CPR and AED excellence

Karen Smith Award

Janette Strasburger, MD, cardiologist at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in the Fox Valley and Project ADAM advisor (left), presents Kathy Verstegen (right) with the Karen Smith Award.

Every year Project ADAM presents the Karen Smith Award to a person who demonstrates a high level of passion, innovation and excellence in serving as a role model for their school’s CPR and automated external defibrillator (AED) program. The award is named after Karen Smith, a nursing services coordinator for the Pewaukee School District who was a pioneer and leader in school health and safety. This year, Project ADAM is honoring Kathy Verstegen, a school nurse with the Kimberly Area School District, as the 2012 recipient of the Karen Smith Award.

Kathy was selected for this honor because of her instrumental role in establishing an AED program in her district. Since 2001, when the AED program was launched in the Kimberly Area School District, 13 AEDs have been purchased. Kathy is responsible for AED …Click here to continue reading

Never stop fighting: A Herma Heart Center Hero


Callan is the 2012 Herma Heart Center Hero.

At 1-month-old, Callan was diagnosed with pulmonary atresia, a congenital heart condition that makes it difficult for blood to flow to the lungs. His doctors in Madison gave him a dismal prognosis, but his parents refused to give up hope. They reached out to the Herma Heart Center team at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee as a last resort for treatment options that might save Callan’s life.

Within a few hours, Callan was rushed to the Herma Heart Center, where physicians recommended a series of three open-heart surgeries. The surgeries took place over several months, and Callan had his ups and …Click here to continue reading

Save a life in your school or home: Lead your cardiac education

Heart awareness monthFebruary is heart awareness month, and it’s a great time to increase awareness of cardiac emergencies in schools and homes. Knowing the causes and warning signs of cardiac arrest and the importance of calling 911 during these emergencies are useful messages for parents, teachers and students.

It’s recommend to have an emergency plan in place and know where the automated external defibrillator (AED) is located, if available. Having a plan and discussing it with …Click here to continue reading

Heart awareness for newborns: Learn how a simple screen can save a life!

February is heart awareness month, a time when we encourage adults to reflect and make changes in their lives for healthier hearts. This is also a good time to raise awareness of congenital heart disease (CHD) and children who start their lives with heart conditions.

CHD is the most common birth defect, and it is present in eight of out of every 1,000 births. Some forms of CHD cause few problems in health, growth and development. Other …Click here to continue reading