For Professionals

Why is Training Important?

Sonographers performing prenatal sonograms often find imaging the fetal heart quite a challenge. After all, the heart is a complex structure that is constantly beating in the chest of an active fetus! However, by mastering a few techniques, sonographers can improve their detection of these defects and contribute directly to improved outcomes for these babies.

Importance of Systematic Screening

In many areas in medicine, the use of checklists, time-outs and algorithms has improved the quality of care. Similarly, the use of a systematic approach to fetal cardiac imaging is associated with more complete and reliable assessment of fetal anatomy. This leads to a higher rate of prenatal detection of major cardiac anomalies, which benefits the families and infants affected. A stepwise method of fetal heart examination allows the sonographer to be more deliberate in assessing details that might be otherwise overlooked. Following a sequence of views helps train the eye to recognize the moment when a view “just doesn’t look right.” For cardiac screening, this is the crucial moment of discovery that can alter this fetus’s life forever.

We are on a mission to train sonographers

Most major congenital heart defects can be detected at the time of the fetal anatomy scan. Systematic evaluation of the fetal heart has been demonstrated to improve detection of abnormal heart development. Our goal is to raise awareness of the importance of systematic imaging and to train sonographers to obtain the recommended views. Sonographer training translates directly into improved detection of congenital heart disease.

We will come to you!

Hands-on collaborative scanning of a live patient is one of the most effective ways to train sonographers in this technique. Tiny Hearts Project offers an on-site training program, working with sonographers and physicians in their office or clinic, to provide hands-on demonstration and personalized feedback. For more information, email us at

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