Preparing your child for surgery and waiting between procedures can be a stressful time for your family. And if your child’s health is critical, you may feel a little uncertain. The Cardiac High Acuity Monitoring Program (CHAMP) helps ease some of those worries. This program is designed for parents of children with single ventricle heart defects, such as hypoplastic left heart syndrome. This type of heart condition requires a series of three surgeries to redirect blood flow.
CHAMP monitors your child’s health between their first and second surgery.
The first surgery is called the Norwood procedure. It takes place during the first weeks of your newborn’s life. After the procedure, your baby is closely monitored in the intensive care unit until they are discharged.
CHAMP is a proactive, technology-based home monitoring system that parents use to communicate with their baby’s care team while the baby is at home between surgeries.
CHAMP has many benefits, including:
- Constant vital signs monitoring and feedback
- Education resources to help you feel comfortable and confident caring for your child
- Ongoing support and encouragement
- Notifications to and from your child’s care team
Looking at data in real time gives your baby’s care team important information. The team uses that data to make decisions that help keep your child healthy and:
- Improves care for your baby
- Decreases your healthcare expenses
- Speeds up care for your child when needed
- Reduces trips to the emergency room
- Lowers your child’s risk of ICU admission
- Shortens the time of your clinic visits
WVU Medicine Children’s Heart Institute is proud to be one of the first in the nation to offer this innovative program – free of charge – to our patients and their families, thanks to the Claire Gianni Foundation.
How CHAMP Works
The time between the first and the second surgery is known as the inter-stage period. The baby’s health can change quickly during this time. Swift changes to treatment or even hospitalization may become necessary. CHAMP is used to communicate the baby’s health information with the care team.
As a parent, you play an important role in monitoring your baby at home. CHAMP helps make that a little easier. We’ll provide a tablet PC with the app already loaded. This app gives your child’s medical team immediate information about your baby’s health status and any changes. The electronic information is transmitted around the clock.
Your baby’s nursing team reviews the data every day and meets weekly to discuss your child’s progress. Our CHAMP team will email or call you at least once a week. If a problem is detected, such as sudden changes in your child’s health, the app will page one of the CHAMP providers. Our providers are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
What to Expect
The CHAMP app collects data you enter, including oxygen saturation levels, weight, feeding logs, and daily videos of your child.
Before your child is discharged from the hospital after the Norwood procedure, our team will give you a tablet loaded with the CHAMP app and other equipment, including:
- Feeding equipment
- Oxygen saturation monitor
We’ll show you how to use this equipment to get important information about your child, and we will instruct you on how to:
- Weigh your baby
- Check their heart rate and oxygen saturation
- Document how much they eat
- Document wet and dirty diaper counts
- Video your baby using the CHAMP tablet
We’ll answer any questions you have about your child’s heart defect. And we’ll show you how to identify and respond to possible issues — called “red flags” in the app. You can also download the CHAMP Home Caregiver Instruction Manual.
Follow-Up and Other Care
After your child’s first surgery and before their second surgery, they may need medical care and evaluation. We work closely with many doctors, including your child’s pediatrician and cardiologist, to make sure your child receives the best possible care.
We require parents to be certified in CPR before your child is discharged from the hospital after their first surgery.
Frequently Asked Questions About CHAMP
Why do I need to video my child daily?
Videos are useful for assessing changes in your baby’s condition, particularly if there is a red flag alert.
What are the red flags to watch for?
Contact your nurse coordinator for any of the following:
- Behavior or changes that worry you
- Bloody stools
- Excessive spitting up
- Baby stops to breathe during feeds
- Feeding difficulty
- Increased sweating during feeds
- Fewer than four wet diapers per day
- Irritability or decreased response to you
- Baby is working hard to breathe
- Low oxygen saturations (less than 70 percent)
- Temperature over 101 degrees F
- Vomiting or diarrhea (more than three episodes in 24 hours)
- Does not gain an average of 20 grams/day over seven days
- Three days in a row of weight loss
Please don’t hesitate to contact your care team with any questions or concerns.
How did this program start?
The original CHAMP program was created by the Ward Family Heart Center team at the pediatric academic medical center Children’s Mercy Hospital located in Kansas City, Missouri. This program was developed and maintained with funds generously provided by the Claire Giannini Foundation.
The technology-based program improves communication and monitors a patient’s health between surgeries. The goal is to reduce infant mortality. The caregiver-driven model offers continuous health monitoring seven days a week and collects data to improve treatment planning. The video component gives the caregiver visual images to evaluate the ongoing health of the baby.