Delivery of care for adult patients with congenital heart disease in Europe: results from the Euro Heart Survey

Moons, Philip ; Engelfriet, Peter ; Kaemmerer, Harald ; Meijboom, Folkert J. ; Oechslin, Erwin ; Mulder, Barbara J.M.

In: European Heart Journal, 2006, vol. 27, no. 11, p. 1324-1330

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    Aims The increasing number of adults with congenital heart disease (CHD) has prompted the development of recommendations for the management of these patients and for the organization of their healthcare. The aim of this report is to describe the delivery of care in Europe for adults with congenital cardiac anomalies. Methods and results As part of the Euro Heart Survey on Adult Congenital Heart Disease, we obtained data from 71 voluntarily participating centres that detailed their care practices for these patients. Forty-eight of these centres were specialist centres and 23 were non-specialist centres. We found that only 19% of the specialist centres complied with defined standards for optimal care structure. The criteria that appeared to be most difficult for all centres to achieve were performing 50 congenital heart operations or more per year and involving nurse specialists in the care of these patients. Conclusion This survey indicated that the provision of care in Europe for adults with congenital heart defects is suboptimal. To fully realize the benefits of cardiac surgery performed in infants and children, continuous effort must be applied by healthcare professionals in order to implement the recommendations on the organization of care for these patients