Mark your calendars! Starting tonight, the work of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s N. Scott Adzick, MD, an internationally recognized fetal surgery pioneer, will be featured in the new documentary series Twice Born. Airing March 31 to April 14 on PBS, Twice Born will highlight stories from Children’s Hospital’s groundbreaking Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment.
Children’s Hospital’s surgeon-in-chief, Dr. Adzick is the founder of the Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment, one of the world’s leading fetal care centers. The Center offers everything from testing to fetal surgery to postnatal care, and since its inception in 1995, Center surgeons have performed more than 1,200 fetal surgeries. Its experts treat a wide range of conditions, including congenital diaphragmatic hernia, conjoined twins, spina bifida, and twin-twin transfusion syndrome.
“This can’t be done many places in the world, this not amateur hour, this is very serious stuff,” said Dr. Adzick in a preview of the series.
Twice Born will tell the stories of parents of babies with birth defects who came to CHOP for care. Including rare operating room footage and interviews with CHOP clinicians, the series “serves up both arresting human drama and astonishing medical science,” according to the show’s website. “We’re driven by patient needs,” said Dr. Adzick.
“We’re driven by trying to find solutions to those unsolved problems. It’s a miracle and a privilege to take care of patients, of babies. Babies are the future! What could be more compelling than a baby?”
In other news, Dr. Adzick was recently awarded the Philadelphia Academy of Surgery’s 2015 Samuel D. Gross Prize. Given “every five years for the best original research in surgery by an American citizen,” the prize is named after prominent nineteenth century surgeon Samuel D. Gross, MD. A surgical pioneer and founder of the Academy, Dr. Gross published numerous books on surgery and anatomy, but is perhaps best known for being the subject of the famous Thomas Eakins painting, The Gross Clinic.
The award recognizes some of Dr. Adzick’s many accomplishments. In particular, in 2011 Dr. Adzick led a landmark study in the New England Journal of Medicine that showed fetal surgery can significantly improve the outcomes for children diagnosed in utero with spina bifida. More recently, he has contributed to investigation of ex utero intrapartum treatment, congenital diaphragmatic hernia, and a study of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, or ECMO.
For more information about Twice Born, see the trailer below. And be sure to check your local PBS station for Twice Born showtimes!