Fetal Heart Monitor Helps Doctors Treat Unborn Babies with Heart Conditions

Bowling Green community raises funds for state-of-the-art technology

A new fetal heart monitor is at Norton Children’s Maternal-Fetal Medicine on the campus of Med Center Health, Bowling Green.

BOWLING GREEN Doctors have a new way to detect heart and other conditions in Western Kentucky babies before they’re even born.

Norton Children’s Maternal-Fetal Medicine on the campus of Med Center Health, Bowling Green, has installed new state-of-the-art diagnostic and ultrasound equipment. The equipment is designed to identify complex anomalies in unborn babies through early detection so that a plan can be created for the best care during and after birth.

“Expert fetal diagnosis and treatment can help make a significant difference for a mother and her baby throughout pregnancy and delivery,” said W. Vance Cuthrell, MD, with Norton Children’s Maternal-Fetal Medicine. “Being able to closely monitor the pregnancy and being armed with critical information allows the doctors and families to make the best decisions for care.”

Estimates are that in Kentucky over 500 children are born each year with congenital heart defects, with 45 deaths per year. Early identification with advanced ultrasound technology may help some of these patients receive lifesaving treatment.

“This technology will allow for the earliest identification of conditions that may require immediate treatment after birth,” says Lucinda T. Wright, MD, pediatric cardiologist with Norton Children’s Heart Institute, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, and Norton Children’s Outpatient Center – Bowling Green. “It will impact so many lives in Western Kentucky.”

Community support to the Norton Children’s Hospital Foundation helped make purchasing the equipment possible. The Harold, Juanita, David, Dennis & Gary Koon Charitable Foundation provided a $100,000 gift, and Dance Big Red, an annual fundraiser by Western Kentucky University students, provided additional support this past March.

“We appreciate the Harold, Juanita, David, Dennis & Gary Koon Charitable Foundation and Dance Big Red for supporting Norton Children’s Hospital over the years,” says Lynnie Meyer, EdD, RN, CFRE, senior vice president and chief development officer, Norton Healthcare. “This gift will allow us to continue to provide the most comprehensive care to the children and families in Western Kentucky.”