This document describes the clinical and physical environment in which infants and children with heart disease can undergo accurate and safe diagnostic procedures and cardiac surgery. Guidelines in this statement are in concert with previous guidelines developed by the Intersociety Commission for Heart Disease Resources.1-4 These guidelines have been developed for use by health planning agencies and health service organizations to evaluate existing pediatric cardiac centers and to establish the need for the development of new centers.
Young patients with heart disease have identifiable needs that can only be adequately met by a team of experts with training and experience in the management of pediatric cardiovascular disease. Accurate anatomic diagnoses, hemodynamic and electrophysiologic assessments of acquired and congenital cardiovascular disease, and the treatment of these diseases are the responsibilities of a pediatric cardiologist in association with the primary physicians and other health professionals. There is a need for guidelines so each center can assess its performance and be assessed by peer review in the context of regional and national guidelines.
The purpose of this document is to recommend guidelines by which this evaluation can be accomplished and offer mechanisms by which the quality of pediatric cardiology care can be assured.
Pediatric Cardiology Patients. To allow for continuity and expertise of patient care, the Section on Cardiology of the American Academy of Pediatrics believes that infants, children, and adolescents (from birth to age 21 years) with major heart disease should have access to the care of a pediatric cardiologist who, along with the child's primary physician, should provide a continuing care program for the patient.
- Copyright © 1978 by the American Academy of Pediatrics