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Valley Children’s among the best in world for treating heart, lung failure

Valley Children’s among the best in world for treating heart, lung failure

Hospital’s extracorporeal life support program has patient outcomes among the top 10-20% in the world


MADERA – As the Valley continues to struggle with high rates of obesity and poor air quality, parents should know that Valley Children’s Hospital is among the best in the world at treating life threatening heart and lung disorders.

Earlier this month, Valley Children’s announced its extracorporeal life support (ECLS) program has received international recognition from the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO) as a Silver Level ELSO Award Recipient. This program is the only one of its kind in the Central Valley for infants and children, providing lifesaving treatment for failing heart and/or lung function.

The ELSO Award recognizes centers worldwide that demonstrate an exceptional commitment to evidence-based processes and quality measures, staff training and continuing education, patient satisfaction and ongoing clinical care. Since 2016, Valley Children’s patient outcomes have been in the top 10% to 20% in the world compared to other ELSO centers.

“I am honored to be part of an impressive, specialized team that has received such a prestigious award recognizing the quality of critical care services, life support equipment and highly trained personnel that provide outstanding care to our most vulnerable kids,” says Dr. Harry Kallas, Valley Children’s Extracorporeal Life Support medical director. “The ECLS program’s accomplishments reflect our continuous efforts and dedication to advancing top quality healthcare at Valley Children’s and our commitment to be the most trusted source for treating critically ill infants and children.”

ECLS is also known as extracorporeal membrane oxygen (ECMO). This is one of the most advanced forms of life support available to patients experiencing potentially reversible acute failure of the cardio-respiratory system that is not responding to other therapies. The ECMO machine assumes the roles of the lungs and heart by providing oxygen and blood flow to the body, allowing these organs to rest and heal over a period of time, increasing chances for recovery.

The ELSO Award for Excellence in Life Support demonstrates to the community: assurance of high-quality standards, specialized equipment and supplies, defined patient protocols, and advanced education of all staff members.

“The ELSO Award is a testament to the expertise and quality leadership of our program and validates our commitment to exceptional critical care services,” said Dr. David Christensen, Valley Children’s senior vice president of medical affairs and chief physician executive. “When a child is in need of lifesaving treatment, parents, relatives and loved ones can be assured that their littlest treasures can receive the best care at Valley Children’s.”

The Valley Children’s ECMO team will travel to Austin, Texas, to proudly receive their award during the 30th Annual ELSO International Conference on Saturday, Sept. 14.

Valley Children’s Healthcare—one of the largest pediatric healthcare networks in the nation—provides Central California’s only high-quality, comprehensive care exclusively for children, from before birth to young adult hood. Our network offers highly specialized medical and surgical services to care for children with conditions ranging from common to the highly complex at its 330-bed stand-alone children’s hospital or in one of their three neonatal units (28 beds) located across the Valley. In addition, the Valley Children’s Healthcare network includes specialty care centers, pediatric primary care practices, urgent care center and women’s health services.

The hospital’s family-centered, pediatric services extend from a leading pediatric cancer and blood diseases center on the West Coast, and a pediatric heart center known for its expertise and pioneering treatments, to a Regional Level IV neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), the highest level referral center between Los Angeles and the Bay Area.

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