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The Father of Modern Interventional Pediatric Cardiology

Updated: May 14, 2021

Charles “Chuck” Mullins, MD, a pioneer whose work has led to the development of new and improved techniques and devices for diagnosing and treating children and adults with Congenital Heart Disease, is widely considered to be “the Father of Modern Interventional Pediatric Cardiology.” He is a renowned pediatric cardiologist and a gifted teacher and author, who retired from Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital after over 35 years of service.

Dr. Mullins with a patient.

In the field of Pediatric Cardiology, it is difficult to go anywhere without coming across someone or something that has not been influenced by Dr. Mullins. He has taught 176 fellows how to do a “real heart cath” and 18 of his fellows have gone on to be Directors of Pediatric Cardiac Cath Labs. His teaching has reached almost every continent; North, Central and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. He has been invited to over 300 institutions to lecture and perform cardiac catheterizations. Dr. Mullins has won many awards throughout his career: Gifted Teacher Award from the American College of Cardiology in 1989, Outstanding Achievement Award at the first Pediatric Interventional Cardiac Symposium (PICS) in 1997, Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Angiography and Intervention in 1998 and the Arnold J. Rudolph, MD Career Teaching Award from Baylor College of Medicine in 2000 and that just scratches the surface.

Dr. Mullins holding the Mullins Sheath.

Dr. Mullins’ contributions to the field are vast: he advanced the frontiers in balloon atrial septostomy, blade atrial septostomy, balloon pulmonary valvuloplasty, balloon aortic valvuloplasty, balloon coarctation angioplasty, PDA occlusion, pulmonary artery stent implant and atrial septal defect occlusion, to name a few. Dr. Mullins has also contributed various innovations to the field including; having a nurse on the manifold flush system, percutaneous needles and wires, Mullins transseptal sheath, Mullins wire and Mullins “glue” for stents.

Dr. Mullins has touched many lives over the years - his patients and his trainees all benefited from his kind, gentle manner and his incredible skill and acumen. Some say he has changed the path of their career in invaluable ways. The following paragraphs pay homage to the doctor, career, and man that is Dr. Chuck Mullins. We all hope to be so fortunate to know a man like Chuck!

To read the full article, please go to the January 2021 Issue of CCT.


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