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Pediatr Nurs. 2009 Nov-Dec;35(6):381-7.

Transition from pediatric to adult health care for adolescents with congenital heart disease: a review of the literature and clinical implications.

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  • 1Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York, NY, USA.


As medical and surgical techniques advance in modern health care, children and adolescents with congenital heart disease (CHD) are living well into their adult years. Their complex cardiac anatomy, physiology, and medical histories present a challenge to adult health care providers who are not traditionally educated and trained in CHD. Growing evidence demonstrates that adolescents and young adults with CHD are at risk for extensive complications and sequelae from their heart condition and surgical treatments. Many of these young adults either continue to be cared for by their pediatric cardiologist or are lost to follow up as they age out of pediatric care. There are little data on the most successful way to transition adolescents and young adults into adult-centered CHD programs. The purpose of this review is to reveal the need for transition into appropriate care and lifelong follow up for adolescents and young adults with CHD, and highlight the role of a pediatric nurse practitioner as a transition coordinator in a pediatric cardiology clinic.

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