This document describes the clinical and physical environment in which the pediatric patient with heart disease can undergo accurate and safe diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. Effective utilization of facilities, development of new technologies, and deployment of personnel capable of providing care for the fetus, infant, child, and young adult with heart disease are outlined. Guidelines in this statement update a previous document published in 19781; these current guidelines are in concert with those developed by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations2 and are intended for use by health planning agencies and health service organizations to evaluate existing pediatric cardiac centers and to establish the need for new centers.2-5
Young patients with heart disease have unique medical problems that can be met best by a team with training and expertise in the management of such pediatric patients. The primary purpose of this document is to recommend guidelines by which evaluation and treatment can be accomplished safely and effectively and to offer mechanisms to assist in assuring excellence in the quality of pediatric cardiology care.
Pediatric cardiology patients require continuity and expertise in patient care. A pediatric cardiologist, along with the patient's primary physician, should provide a continuing care program. In some centers, pediatric cardiologists who have expertise in the management of patients with congenital heart disease may provide new or continuing care for adults with congenital heart defects; in others, an orderly transfer of medical management between pediatric and adult cardiologists will provide the best care for older patients.
- Copyright © 1991 by the American Academy of Pediatrics