Saturday, August 3, 2013

CNN has a great article today on getting a good heart surgeon for your child


10 ways to get your child the best heart surgeon

Really good advice in this article.  Kudos to Kristen Spyker, who is an AMAZING heart mom and tireless advocate:

Get Educated:

Kristen Spyker, whose 3-year-old son Logan has a congenital heart defect, also recommends purchasing a copy of "The Illustrated Field Guide to Congenital Heart Disease and Repair," which she says gives great explanations for heart defects and surgeries. She found that many nurses had it on hand at her son's hospital.

Ask Specific Questions:

When asking questions, be very specific, advises Spyker, who started an online organization called The Heterotaxy Network.

For example, if your child needs to have AV canal repair, don't ask about the surgeon about his experience with valve repairs in general. If your child has a particular condition, such as Down Syndrome, find out about the surgeon's experience doing this procedure on children with that condition.

Be wary of places that keep statistics a secret

If you don't get specific answers to your questions, that's a red flag, many experts advise.
"I wouldn't go to an institution that wouldn't provide specific data," said Dr. Charles Fraser, chief of congenital heart surgery at Texas Children's Hospital. "And if you get a patronizing response like, 'We've done really well,' that's not sufficient."

Checkout your hospital rankings at US News and World Report and never be afraid to get a second opinion!

This article was probably a reaction to the story about Kentucky Children's stopping heart surgeries in the face of high mortality rates.

No comments:

Post a Comment