New surgical suite focuses on children with heart problems at UH Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital

CLEVELAND- UH Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital on Thursday unveiled a new surgical suite that focuses on children who have heart problems.

Doctors at University Hospitals used cardiac catheterization to help Zett Dios, who is one year old.

When he was just three weeks old, Zett was diagnosed with a condition where his heart was beating too quickly.

"His tiny body was fighting with this and it was shutting down and so they had to resuscitate him and do all kinds of interventions and they saved his life," said Renee Dios, Zett's mom.

UH's new suite to help children is an operating room that moves -- it has everything from the table itself to the scanners that allow doctors to watch monitors as they insert catheters through small incisions to repair a child's heart. It's hybrid technology that doctors say allows for more precise surgery and shorter recovery times.

"In pediatrics, in particular, there's a lot of individuality that has to be taken into consideration for each child and each child's own cardiac disease," said Dr. Walter Hoyt, pediatric cardiologist.

Early detection of heart cardiac disease in children is extremely important. In Zett's case, he couldn't hold down food, which alerted his mom.

But, sometimes, problems are not so easy to find.

Browns cornerback TJ Carrie was a 15-year-old football player who fainted after practice. It turned out he had a rare condition and needed a rare operation which he had on Valentine's Day 12 years ago. A heart screening saved his life. "Let's diagnose what's going on; let's get a simple 10-minute heart screening echo EKG to see if there is anything going on to see if they can stop any issues you may have longevity-wise," Carrie said.

Carrie still carries a scar on his chest to remind him of the importance of getting the word out for early screening.

New technologies which make correcting heart problems easier, especially in children, don't leave scars anymore. What it does leave is happy children who get to grow up to be football stars or whoever else they want to be.

The hospital says its pediatric-focused hybrid cardiac catheterization unit can even be used to help repair children's hearts while they're still inside their mother's womb.

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