Pediatric heart care spans from the earliest point of fetal gestation to early adulthood, which means a whole new generation of children with congenital heart disease is growing up as a unique population. Research in recent decades has rapidly generated new information about children living with congenital heart disease (CHD) and contributed to the increasing life span of these children. However, the research also shows that children growing up with a chronic heart condition can face a lifetime of complications that require more research and clinical innovations to ensure this population is offered the best quality of life possible.
This week, an international group of more than 700 medical experts gather at the nation’s largest pediatric cardiology conference to discuss bringing science into clinical practice to provide optimal care for fetuses, neonates, children and young adults with CHD. Affecting 1 in 120 children, CHD is the most common birth defect, and in its most severe forms is also the leading cause of death in infants and young children.
“Through focusing on the team dynamic that is so critical to our patients’ ongoing care and to our collective growth as professionals, we have experienced significant breakthroughs in our field in just the last five years. We’ve experienced a seismic shift in care in cardiac surgery, lymphatics, heart failure and transplant and fetal heart care,” said Jack Rychik, MD, Course Director and Medical Director of the Fetal Heart Program and the Single Ventricle Survivorship Clinic, part of the Fontan Rehabilitation, Wellness, Activity and Resilience Development (FORWARD) Program, at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). “This year we are also excited to partner with The International Fontan Interest Group for a symposium on the challenges of the Fontan circulation and have a dynamic discussion of where the field is today and what we need to help more patients live without side effects from this palliative therapy.”
With this approach in mind, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia presents the 21st Annual Update on Pediatric and Congenital Cardiovascular Disease. The theme this year is “Effective Teams, Improving Outcomes.” The course faculty will present multiple lectures in plenary sessions, as well as presentations in subspecialty breakout sessions and a series of moderated expert panels, discussing the latest science and clinical care for CHD patients.
Pediatric cardiologists, heart surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses and perfusionists from nearly every state and over 20 countries will discuss new treatments for children in heart failure, neurodevelopment in CHD patients, innovation and challenges in the management of children with single-ventricle conditions, and adult CHD, among many other topics.
Eight oral presentations by researchers competing for the Outstanding Investigator Award will be featured during the conference — with the winner announced on Saturday, Feb. 24.
Cardiology 2018 — the 21st Annual Update on Pediatric and Cardiovascular Disease occurs at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Gainey Ranch through Feb. 25. The conference is the largest annual standalone meeting of its kind and brings together leaders in pediatric and congenital heart care, from fetal life to adult care, from around the world.