Children's Hospital Colorado

Managing Congenital Heart Disease in Young Adults (S2:E26)

The prognosis for kids with congenital heart disease (CHD) has improved dramatically in recent years. Even babies who are born with complex and critical heart defects are thriving into adulthood.

Physicians, parents and patients sometimes assume the issue is "cured." However, even if a child appears to be completely healthy and well, continued cardiology care and monitoring are vital. As a pediatrician, you may find yourself supporting adolescent CHD patients as they transition to adult care.

Listen to our pediatric cardiopulmonary expert discuss ongoing management of congenital heart disease

In episode 21 of season 2 on Charting Pediatrics, we explored congenital heart disease in infants. Today's episode is a continuation of that discussion. We are going to look at the primary care provider's ongoing role in caring for patients with CHD.

Our guest is Joe Kay, MD, Program Director of the Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD) Program at Children's Hospital Colorado.

In today's episode, our expert shares:

  • The most common symptoms of congenital heart defects primary care providers should look for in the first few weeks of life, particularly for children who have slipped through the fetal diagnostic evaluations for CHD
  • Which diagnostic tests to administer to determine the presence of heart lesions
  • When it's best to refer the child to a pediatric cardiopulmonary specialist
  • The importance of thinking globally, whether the child is thriving while managing CHD or not
  • An overview of the types of ongoing management young patients with CHD require
  • Thoughts on when teenage patients who have had open heart surgery at a young age should visit a pediatric cardiologist or adult congenital specialist
  • Research regarding the incidence of CHD-related problems in adulthood
  • Details regarding the need for future cardiac intervention procedures, which are always dependent on each individual child's case
  • The long-term prognosis for hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) patients
  • The most common psychological challenges when transitioning CHD management and care to independent adults
  • Reasons why CHD should always remain on the patient's problem list

Managing congenital heart disease at Children's Colorado

Children with congenital heart defects are treated by the experts in our pediatric Heart Institute. We support young patients and their families throughout CHD diagnosis and management, offering comprehensive and compassionate care to help adolescents and adults with CHD thrive. Refer a patient to Children's Colorado.