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October 2010, Volume 40 Number 10 , p 63 - 63


  • Christina Sillman BSN, RN
  • Bridget Parsh EdD, RN, CNS


I recently cared for a 28-year-old patient with a history of congenital heart disease, who was hospitalized for an orthopedic condition. What do I need to know when taking care of a patient with this history?— M.E., CALIF.Christina Sillman, BSN, RN, and Bridget Parsh, EdD, RN, CNS, reply: Because the repair of congenital heart defects has improved significantly over the past 25 years, you should expect to see more of these adult patients as time goes on.1 Some patients may have had their defect fully repaired, whereas others may have some residual defect.These patients are very knowledgeable about their health history and medical care. Most know their risks and whether any future surgeries are planned. Respect their knowledge of their history and heart disease.Many patients have spent years working with a pediatric cardiologist. Once they become adults, they may have difficulty finding cardiologists who specialize in adults with congenital heart disease.2 Refer patients who are looking

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