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Carer knowledge of children’s medical problems in a paediatric cardiology outpatient setting
  1. J Wray,
  2. G Small,
  3. B Freedman,
  4. R C G Franklin
  1. Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust, Harefield Hospital, Harefield, Middlesex, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr J Wray
    Paediatric Surgical Unit, Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust, Harefield Hospital, Harefield, Middlesex, UB9 6JH, UK;

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In a world with increasingly mobile populations, children often attend emergency departments or primary care surgeries where no documentation about existing medical problems is held. This can cause difficulties, especially for children with chronic and ongoing medical conditions. Advances in medical and surgical care have resulted in dramatic improvements in mortality and morbidity rates and a steady and continuing increase in this population. This is especially true for children with congenital heart disease in whom there is a significant population with repaired or palliated lesions. Such children are at risk of suboptimal treatment when they present for emergency care from unfamiliar health care providers.1 Health care professionals are reliant on parents or caregivers to give relevant histories and contact information, so becoming the child’s principal advocate in accessing optimal health care.

Information about parental understanding of congenital heart disease is scant, but a lack of knowledge about bacterial endocarditis and antibiotic prophylaxis has been identified in parents of these children.2 The aim of this study was to assess the ability of parents attending a tertiary paediatric cardiology centre to give accurate information concerning their child’s medical condition, including the need for antibiotic prophylaxis for dental procedures.


Caregivers who attended an outpatient clinic with their child in a tertiary paediatric cardiology centre (November 1998 to January 1999) were approached for …

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