Christopher L Jenks, MD, MS, FAAP photo

Christopher L Jenks, MD, MS, FAAP

Pediatric Cardiac Critical Care

Chris Jenks is fascinated by medical devices. And right now this 2009 graduate of Saba is getting a big chance to learn more as a fellow in Pediatric Cardiac Critical Care at Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children’s Hospital.

Chris’s research focus is on the use of mechanical support devices such as ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation), ventricular assists devices (Berlin, Impella) that are increasingly being used to treat infants and children with very severe cardiac and respiratory failure. In effect, ECMO provide heart-lung bypass support outside of the child's body, circulating blood through an artificial lung and returning the blood back to the child. It is often used to help support a child who is awaiting a heart or lung transplant or as a bridge to recovery.

Chris is conducting research into various risk factors and practices associated with ECMO support (anticoagulation, ventilation strategies, and hemolysis), and is already published in this area. He has also delivered lectures to fellow physicians and residents, such as “ECMO: A Resident Survival Guide."

Prior to attending medical school, Chris was a paramedic in South Carolina and it was there, through a fellow paramedic, that he learned about Saba. He did an internship in Internal Medicine at Louisiana State University and then a residency in Internal Medicine/Pediatrics. He also became a chief resident in Internal Medicine / Pediatrics, before going on to a fellowship in Pediatric Critical Care Medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. He became a chief fellow in pediatric critical care, and has started a 4th year at Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children’s Hospital where he is a clinical instructor.

Looking back, Chris says “Saba was a great experience for me. It was new and interesting, and I was really able to concentrate on studying since there weren’t a lot of distractions. I received a great clinical education during my clinical rotations in New York, Maryland, and Florida that gave me the foundation to pursue my passion for pediatrics and critical care.”