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Babies born with a congenital heart defect often require immediate medical assistance after delivery. The Fetal Heart Program has the maternal fetal medicine and pediatric experts to provide the care these babies need to transition from the womb to the outside world.

For babies facing the most complex deliveries, SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center is one of the only places in the country where a baby requiring immediate intervention can be delivered via a cesarean section or EXIT (Ex Utero Intrapartum Treatment).

EXIT procedures allow the fetal and cardiothoracic surgeons to perform life-saving procedures on the baby before cutting the umbilical cord. This allows the baby to be stabilized while attached to the life-support of the mother’s placenta.

If additional intervention is needed, the baby is next door to the pediatric operating room and the pediatric hybrid cardiac catheterization suite. This state-of-the-art suite allows the heart experts to conduct advanced diagnostic procedures and fix complex heart problems, in the same room and in one procedure, for safer care and a faster recovery.