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CBS 2: Meet a Congenital Cardiologist, Dr. Evan Zahn | STEAM

CBS 2 recently interviewed Evan Zahn, MD, director of the Guerin Family Congenital Heart Program in the Smidt Heart Institute and director of the Division of Pediatric Cardiology, about his work as a congenital cardiologist.

Zahn told CBS 2 reporter Olga Ospina that the congenital heart program at Cedars-Sinai treats patients of all ages and that his specialty is caring for infants with heart defects.

“It’s not unusual for me to come in and take care of somebody’s 6-month-old, put in a new valve, and our next patient might be a 46-year-old who needs a similar or a very different procedure,” Zahn told Ospina.

Zahn has helped design microscopic devices for the tiniest patients. One device, called the Amplatzer Piccolo Occluder, repairs a hole in the hearts of premature infants born with a common heart-related birth defect called patent ductus arteriosus.

“Trying to fix a heart defect in a baby who weighs 2 pounds is obviously very different than in an adult who weighs 200 pounds,” Zahn told Ospina. “It’s just that much more delicate, the tools are that much smaller.”

Zahn told Ospina his path to interventional pediatric cardiology was unexpected.

“I didn’t know children had heart disease, and I was fascinated by it,” he said. “I would have never imagined I’d be taking care of people’s babies for 35 years; it wasn’t ever what I planned, but it’s clearly what I was meant to do.”

The segment was part of the CBS 2 “STEAM” series, which features people in the L.A. area who are making a difference in the areas of science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics.

Click here to watch the complete segment from CBS 2.