Focused Approach to Cardiac Critical Care for Children
Heart
Posted on: Oct 29
Heart
Posted on: Oct 29
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Tags: cardiology, heart, pediatrics, surgery, article

Focused Approach to Cardiac Critical Care for Children

A child requiring cardiac surgery requires immense care, both during surgery as well as throughout the recovery period. It is during these times that a Pediatric Cardiac Critical Care team, an interdisciplinary team of highly trained health care professionals, steps in to provide the best care available. This dedicated team of professionals combines the expertise of cardiovascular surgery and cardiac critical care, allowing for a focused, team approach. 

Pediatric Cardiac Critical Care Team

• Pediatric cardiac surgeons

• Cardiac intensivists

• Cardiac anesthesiologists

• Cardiologists

• Cardiovascular nurse practitioners

• Cardiovascular intensive care unit (ICU) nurses

• Respiratory pharmacists

• Pharmacists

• Nutritionists

• Social Workers

• Child life specialists

• Spiritual support

The overall goal of this team is to provide complete cardiac care. Patients born with congenital heart defects are followed all the way through adulthood, whether that care may include surgery, critical care post surgery, or continuing outpatient care.

Knowledge is power.

The Pediatric Cardiac Critical Care team has many members, but perhaps one of the most important is the patient’s family. Because the patient is very young and the least aware of his or her situation, family members are included in the sharing of information and decisions. The critical care team works within the belief that knowledge is power and invites family members to be at their child’s bedside 24/7, even if an emergency situation should arise.

Communication within the team is streamlined, leading to better patient care.

Having this closely-knit group of caretakers with the same goal allows all involved to pay attention to every detail. Cardiac surgeons, physicians, and healthcare professionals have one focus, and that is on the individual patient. Communication of the child’s status is streamlined, with the team realigning its information several times a day. Decision makers are only one call away from the patient, which can allow for immediate action and avoid delay. With each problem that may arise, there is a quick and efficient solution.

The benefits of communication are twofold.

The same line of communication that allows for exceptional patient care also benefits the pediatric cardiac program as a whole. The team is constantly acquiring data and assessing the program’s outcomes. This continuous feedback allows for quick yet effective adjustments to the program if necessary to further improve patient care.

Better outcomes.

Dedicated groups such as the Pediatric Cardiac Critical Care team lead to efficient and expert care of its patients, as well as exceptional outcomes. These outcomes can include:

• a decrease in the number of days patients require a ventilator

• a decrease in the length of stay for patients in the ICU and hospital

• increased survival rates for children following cardiac surgery

Pediatric cardiac care teams are constantly striving for better outcomes. Sharing information within the team is critical in this goal, but sharing data with other programs is helpful as well. The Society of Thoracic Surgeons National Database, a non-profit group with over 6,000 surgeons and healthcare professionals, allows programs to continuously collect and assess its data to benchmark individual progress. The main goal of this data sharing, as well as the overall goal of the Pediatric Cardiac Critical Care team, is to provide the best patient care possible. 

Tags: cardiology, heart, pediatrics, surgery, article
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Focused Approach to Cardiac Critical Care for Children

A child requiring cardiac surgery requires immense care, both during surgery as well as throughout the recovery period. It is during these times that a Pediatric Cardiac Critical Care team, an interdisciplinary team of highly trained health care professionals, steps in to provide the best care available. This dedicated team of professionals combines the expertise of cardiovascular surgery and cardiac critical care, allowing for a focused, team approach. 

Pediatric Cardiac Critical Care Team

• Pediatric cardiac surgeons

• Cardiac intensivists

• Cardiac anesthesiologists

• Cardiologists

• Cardiovascular nurse practitioners

• Cardiovascular intensive care unit (ICU) nurses

• Respiratory pharmacists

• Pharmacists

• Nutritionists

• Social Workers

• Child life specialists

• Spiritual support

The overall goal of this team is to provide complete cardiac care. Patients born with congenital heart defects are followed all the way through adulthood, whether that care may include surgery, critical care post surgery, or continuing outpatient care.

Knowledge is power.

The Pediatric Cardiac Critical Care team has many members, but perhaps one of the most important is the patient’s family. Because the patient is very young and the least aware of his or her situation, family members are included in the sharing of information and decisions. The critical care team works within the belief that knowledge is power and invites family members to be at their child’s bedside 24/7, even if an emergency situation should arise.

Communication within the team is streamlined, leading to better patient care.

Having this closely-knit group of caretakers with the same goal allows all involved to pay attention to every detail. Cardiac surgeons, physicians, and healthcare professionals have one focus, and that is on the individual patient. Communication of the child’s status is streamlined, with the team realigning its information several times a day. Decision makers are only one call away from the patient, which can allow for immediate action and avoid delay. With each problem that may arise, there is a quick and efficient solution.

The benefits of communication are twofold.

The same line of communication that allows for exceptional patient care also benefits the pediatric cardiac program as a whole. The team is constantly acquiring data and assessing the program’s outcomes. This continuous feedback allows for quick yet effective adjustments to the program if necessary to further improve patient care.

Better outcomes.

Dedicated groups such as the Pediatric Cardiac Critical Care team lead to efficient and expert care of its patients, as well as exceptional outcomes. These outcomes can include:

• a decrease in the number of days patients require a ventilator

• a decrease in the length of stay for patients in the ICU and hospital

• increased survival rates for children following cardiac surgery

Pediatric cardiac care teams are constantly striving for better outcomes. Sharing information within the team is critical in this goal, but sharing data with other programs is helpful as well. The Society of Thoracic Surgeons National Database, a non-profit group with over 6,000 surgeons and healthcare professionals, allows programs to continuously collect and assess its data to benchmark individual progress. The main goal of this data sharing, as well as the overall goal of the Pediatric Cardiac Critical Care team, is to provide the best patient care possible. 

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