PCPs Long-Term Role Charted in Pediatric Heart Disease Recommendations

New American Academy of Pediatric policy statement details care guidelines for congenital heart disease
New American Academy of Pediatric policy statement details care guidelines for congenital heart disease

HealthDay News — Primary care providers (PCPs) and medical homes (MHs) have a role to play in the management of pediatric patients with congenital heart disease (CHD) and their families, according to a policy statement published online October 30 in Pediatrics.

M. Regina Lantin-Hermoso, MD, from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, and colleagues from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Cardiology reviewed the current literature to develop guidelines for primary care providers to follow in caring for children with CHD. They used a timeline approach to emphasize the role of the PCP and medical home in the management of patients with CHD in their various life stages. 

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The authors note that the policy statement is intended to be a repository of information for the care of children with CHD, covering topics including psychosocial stressors, the need for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and automated external defibrillator training for qualified caregivers, newborn pulse oximetry screening, genetic screening, post-discharge care, complications of therapy, special immunization needs and infection prevention, nutrition and feeding challenges, neurodevelopmental and behavioral concerns, exercise and sports participation, and other special needs, care transition to adult care.

"Patients with CHD and their families have multiple needs. Care and support provided by the PCP/MH, as outlined in the recommendations, are invaluable for improved outcomes throughout the patient's life span," the authors write.

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