Complete Versus Partial Atrioventricular Canal: Equal Risks of Repair in the Modern Era

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Complete Versus Partial Atrioventricular Canal: Equal Risks of Repair in the Modern Era

Publication Date
Oct 01, 2002
  • Economics
  • Education
  • History
  • Medicine


Layout 1 In today’s world, growing up and taking on the roles and responsibilities of adulthood can be a long and difficult process. For the ever increasing number of young people who have a congenital heart defect, this stage of life can be especially challenging. The purpose of this article is to dis- cuss some of the twists and turns that young people with CHD may have to negotiate as they hit their 20s and to sug- gest some strategies that may make the journey a little easier. The tasks and challenges for those in their 20s include completing their education and starting a job/career, establishing economic independence, seeing adults as equals and peers, moving away from home, and establishing new social relationships. For many, the 20s is also the time for reexamining personal goals such as: committing to a long-term relationship; if and when to start a family; and asking themselves “What does it mean for me to be an adult?” and “What is my place in society?” But as a young adult with a congenital heart defect, you must take on these life issues while facing uncertainties inherent in your health condition. Since yours is one of the first generations of CHDers to reach adulthood, doctors have limited information about how your condition may impact your stamina and general well being, if and when you might need to undergo another heart “repair” procedure, and how your condition might change as you reach middle age. In addition, as a young adult, you are now expected to assume a greater level of responsibility for your own health care, including fully understanding your diagnosis, making decisions about treatment options, following through on your plan of care, and dealing with insurance. As if that were not enough, you may be at the age when your pediatric cardiol- ogist is telling you that it is time for you to find an adult car- diologist and an adult primary care provider. In addition to establishing a positive working relationship with new health care providers, you may be faced w


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