Slower can be better

Reducing radiation exposure during heart catheterization procedures

cardiac cath reducing radiationA cardiac catheterization is a procedure performed by a cardiologist to diagnose and often treat heart conditions. Many patients with congenital heart disease require cardiac catheterizations. During catheterization procedures, we use fluoroscopy to obtain real-time moving images of your heart.

Fluoroscopy is basically a series of x-rays that are played very quickly. It’s similar to how movies work – when the still images are played back quickly, they produces a moving image.

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Finding better ways to compare pediatric heart care quality

comparing pediatric heart care qualityThe fields of pediatric cardiology and cardiac surgery have come a long way. Today, conditions that were universally fatal as recent as 30 years ago can now be successfully treated, allowing children with congenital heart disease to thrive into adulthood.

However, we also know that there is much more work to be done to ensure that all children with heart disease have access to the highest quality care. One thing that is important is to be able to identify and learn from those hospitals with the best outcomes who are providing the highest pediatric heart care quality to children with heart disease.

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Transition Readiness for Congenital Heart Disease Patients

Children born with congenital heart disease are thriving thanks to advances in diagnosis and treatment. Currently, 85 to 90 percent of these patients survive into adulthood. That’s great news. Unfortunately, studies have shown that as many as 50 to 75 percent of these patients fail to follow up with their care as they become adults and are then more likely to be admitted to the emergency room with urgent problems.

We studied 165 patients from 13- to 25-years-old to assess their readiness to transition to adult care. Patients completed a Transition Readiness Assessment and Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory using an e-tablet. For patients under age 18, we also had a parent complete a Transition Readiness Assessment that helps us better understand the parent’s perceptions of the child’s transition knowledge and behavior.

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