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Pediatr Nurs. 2003 Mar-Apr;29(2):105-13.

Pediatric and neonatal cardiovascular pharmacology.

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Children's Health Center, St. Joseph's Hospital & Medical Center, Phoenix, AZ, USA.


Advances in cardiology, surgical techniques, postoperative care, and medications have improved the chances of long-term survival of the neonatal and pediatric patient with complex congenital cardiac anomalies. Rather than undergoing palliative repair, these children are now frequently taken to the operating room for complete repair. As complete repair becomes the norm, collaborative management and a thorough understanding of the pre and postoperative medications used become essential to the care of these patients. The nurse's ability to understand preop, postop, and management medications is enhanced by an understanding of the principles of cardiac anatomy and physiology, as well as developmental changes in cardiac function. All of these are reviewed. In addition, since the safe and effective administration of these drugs depends on the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) and neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) nurse's thorough knowledge of these medications and their effects on the cardiovascular system, a brief review of these medications is presented. While new technology and techniques are improving survival rates for children with congenital heart anomalies, it is the postoperative care that these children receive that enhances the patient's survival even more.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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