Outcomes of Congenital Heart Disease: A Review

Angela Green


Pediatr Nurs. 2004;30(4) 

In This Article

Methods and Survival

CINAHL, Medline, and PsychInfo were searched for studies published between 1998 and 2003 reporting outcomes for heterogeneous groups of children and adults with CHD. The search was initially limited to the United States but was later expanded to include international studies. Studies prior to 1998 were included when little or no subsequent research was uncovered. Transplant patients were excluded because of the unique types of associated morbidity in this group.

Surgical intervention was first offered for CHD in the 1930s. Prior to that, few children survived to adulthood (Tong et al., 1998). Improved diagnostic capabilities, surgical techniques, and intensive care management along with widespread use of prostaglandin E1 have decreased mortality (Boneva et al., 2001; McElhinney & Wernovsky, 2001). CHD-related mortality decreased by 39% from 1979 to 1997, and the age at death increased for most defects (Boneva et al., 2001). Recent figures indicate that 85% of newborns with CHD are expected to survive to adulthood (Simko & McGinnis, 2003). While improved survival is exciting, questions remain about the survivors. Research on short- and long-term morbidity and QOL may help answer those questions.


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